Association: Speed up non-Covid-19 referrals to private hospitals to free up beds in public healthcare system

Dr Kuljit said the Health Ministry’s efforts to refer non-Covid-19 patients from public hospitals to private ones had been unsatisfactory thus far. — Reuters pic
Dr Kuljit said the Health Ministry’s efforts to refer non-Covid-19 patients from public hospitals to private ones had been unsatisfactory thus far. — Reuters pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, May 18 — The Association of Private Hospitals Malaysia (APHM) has called for the referral of non-Covid-19 cases to private hospitals to be expedited, as this would allow government hospitals to focus on treating Covid-19 patients.

Its president Datuk Dr Kuljit Singh went on to say treatment for non-Covid-19 patients in private hospitals could continue to be government funded so long as their stay is supported by relevant documents, such as the Health Ministry’s circular letter and a doctor’s referral letter, Berita Harian reported.

“The Health Ministry issued the circular letter last year and also updated it recently,” he said.

Dr Kuljit said the circular letter confirmed that government hospitals are allowed to refer non-Covid-19 patients to private hospitals to take the strain off the public healthcare system.

The letter covers all reference policies and payment schemes by the government based on strict criteria.

“Therefore, we hope doctors at government hospitals can refer patients to private hospitals without further delay,” he said.

Previously, Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah revealed that many surgeries and elective procedures at government hospitals in the Klang Valley were either reduced or postponed so that beds can be used for Covid-19 patients.

Dr Kuljit added the Health Ministry’s efforts to refer non-Covid-19 patients from public hospitals to private ones had been unsatisfactory thus far because only a small percentage of cases had been transferred successfully.

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