Govt approves 45 private hospitals, undermines GHs

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Just when you thought the BN federal government would put a cap on the number of private hospitals, it does the reverse. It approves licences for 45 new private hospitals.

Mind you, this will worsen the brain drain from general hospitals and lengthen their waiting lists. The irony is that these licences have been approved at the onset of an economic recession, when thousands of Malaysians will think twice about being treated at private hospitals – simply because they can no longer afford them – and instead turn to general hospitals.

Even before the approval of these private hospitals, we could expect longer queues in our general hospitals because of the recession. But now, if these new private hospitals pinch more staff from the GHs resulting in a shortage of specialists and doctors in the GHs, the majority of Malaysians will suffer from even poorer service.

But the BN federal government, like the Pakatan governments in certain states, appears more concerned about “medical tourism” for private hospitals and the interests of the well-heeled. For instance, Pantai Holdings, ironically 60 per cent owned by Khazanah, aims to add five new hospitals to its existing stable of nine.

In the process, the poor, who cannot afford quality treatment, are neglected and forgotten.

This report from the Business Times:

Nod for 45 new private hospitals
By Vasantha Ganesan
[email protected]
2009/02/20

THE government has approved licences for a total of 45 new private hospitals and this will grow the number of beds at private hospitals by a third to 15,178.

As at end of 2008, Malaysia had a total of 209 registered hospitals with a total of 11,689 beds.

“Since the implementation of the Private Healthcare Facilities and Services Act 1998 and its regulations in 2006, we have received 55 applications for the establishment of new private hospitals, of which 45 have been approved,” the Minister of Health Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said.

The 45 hospitals have a total of 3,489 beds.

“…the number of private hospitals operating in the country has increased almost two fold from 135 at the end of December 2001 to 209 by the end of December 2008,” he added.

Liow was speaking to reporters yesterday following the launch of “Rebirth of Pantai” for Pantai Holdings Bhd.

On whether the healthcare sector can expect anything from the second stimulus package, Liow said there will be some goodies in store to boost medical tourism and training for nurses.

“We should prepare for medical tourism and take it to the next level … we should promote this sector further,” he said, adding that medical tourism has been identified as a key sector to generate economic growth.

A second stimulus package to boost the economy will be announced on March 10 2009, adding to the RM7 billion stimulus package announced last November. – By Vasantha Ganesan

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bibloba

Hi,
Private hospitals and doctors are not the cause of the problems.
It is a free country and market forces should be allowed to prevail with the proviso that a safety net exists for the disadvantaged.
Btw a lot of experienced nurses and doctors leave to work overseas as it is very lucrative.So to blame PHs for brain drain is half truth.

flyer168

To be a Public figure, one must be established, sincere, honest, credible, transparent & above board – should be opened to scrutinization like in the US. Many of our Leaders today have “skeletons” of their past in their closets (some have their family’s baggages as well!)…. So how can they be “Honourable” to carry out their duties diligently without “Fear or favour”, even after taking an “oath” to the King/Sultan/the nation & rayaat. Ultimately they will “Buckle” under pressure. This great nation, its assets & its Anak Bangsa Malaysia have been abused for the last 40 years by these “Moronic… Read more »

cruzeiro

So what if there are more PHs? If the corporations believe that there are people with money who can pay for healthcare, why not? Never mind that – the attitude of Malaysians towards health stinks!! Many of those who complain about the cost of healthcare, wouldn’t blink when they pay for a jug of beer, or pay the cover charge to a swanky niteclub. How ironic it is, when you see many lower socio-economic strata patrons guzzle their beer at pubs without a care in the world, while complaining about their misfortunes & bad service at the GHs. Oh yes… Read more »

Phua Kai Lit

Dear Readers

The issue is quite complicated. But, on the whole,
allowing private hospitals to proliferate in Malaysia is not good
health policy.

You are invited to take a look at this paper I have written:

http://phuakl.tripod.com/healthpolicy.doc

Assoc Prof Phua Kai Lit

bla bla bla

1. Now even the rich ones turn to government hospital to save money 2. Health department tops the list with complaints 3. Health Ministry admitted shortage in medical staff at government hospitals 4. Medical officers having long working hours. Even up to 34 hours It is clear that the government hospitals are short of medical staff. How you expect the medical staff to serve the public well when there is serious shortage in manpower. The Health Ministry did not really examine into the root of the problem and try to solve it but was so naive to think that by… Read more »

38DD

Someone asked what’s wrong with more private hospitals? It is wrong if the government who took our tax monies, which include pulic healthcare expenses, abdicated its responsibilities and shifted the burden to the citizen to bear with private hospitals. Don’t even bother with health insurance because you can use it only once for major illness and they will not insure you anymore from then on plus if you’re over 65, no insurance company wants to know you, just when you need it the most. And if the patient is in critical trauma, even if the patient has platinum credit card,… Read more »

Drachen

Maybe it’s good to have more private hospitals. Let them compete and force the price down.

Somebody should also come up with a price comparison for the various specialists.

bla bla bla

Page N23 of the Star newspaper dated 25 Feb 2009 reported longer queues at government hospitals and health clinics, a sign of an ailing economy.

Deputy Health Minister said more people were seeking treatment at public hospitals instead of private ones to save on expenses

My2cen

Hmm… makes you think maybe the govt wants to push for privatisation of the public hosp again?? Many people currently cannot afford the high cost of consultation and drugs in the private hosp. More private hosp will not solve the problems. Many of you are right, in the end, there will be brain drain from the public hosp to the private hosp. Compounded with the discrimination policy of BN against non-Malays, many will seek training overseas and NOT come back to serve in Malaysia. Affordable medical insurance should have been put in place, yet this have never been done. So… Read more »

Product of the System

Sabahans don’t even have a proper state general hospital now.

http://unwantedcitizen.blogspot.com/2009/02/open-letter-to-minister-of-health.html

cf wong

What’s the problem? Let there be more hospitals, more clinics, more doctors, nurses etc. Medical service is like any other business. If there is money to be made, there will be more businessmen who want to open hsopitals, and there willbe more people who want to get into the medical professions. Once there are more supply than demand, then the prices of the services will be more competitive. The trouble in Malaysia is that the damn government wants to regulate everything instead of letting market forces prevail. That’s how some napoleons make their money controlling the licences. The government want… Read more »

koken

anil,, resident from middle income , low income or goverment staff never go to the private hospital. please visit Putrajaya Clinic precint 9 and u can see how stress all the staff there. They’re working like hell. no time for rest.we as a patient also have to wait longer..so stressfull..but we have no choice!!Putrajaya now have 20 Precints ,so many schools,but u just imagine that Putrajaya have only 1 clinic. Not only resident from nearby Puchong , Banting and Dengkil but also frm Shah Alam came here to get treatment. Putrajaya should have more goverment clinics to handle it. Goverment… Read more »

Menyalak-er

More Private Hospitals? Lack of doctors/nurses/paramedicalstaff? Lack of decent medical equiptment? Lack of competetent trained professionals/personnel? More likely poor management of resources, untenable & ridiculous statutes and bureaucracy.
Absolute rubbish that has been force fed to the rakyat! The stumbling block is not just the ‘need for better medical care’, but mostly due to the sheer incompetence of the health ministry and the ministers! This YB LIOW chi(finished oredi) flur is probably the most incompetent minister thus far. Ever heard of ‘musical chairs’? It boils down to something we call greed!

sharath

Anil this happened as a miracle at oscar awards…..Mr.Rehman happens to be an islam won his oscar award for music…the main theam of this music is “OM”…the chant malaysian islamic fatwa banned for islam ppl. Mr.Rehaman while accepting the award gave a nice speach to the whole world…..” I had a choice between love and hate, I choose love ….& that is why i am here.”
how meaningful is his message.
Hope Mr.Rocky should hear Mr.Rehman`s advice

Jonathan

It’s about time the government approved more private hospitals. We cannot have nor trust this dungu government to build or run hospitals anymore. They are a bunch of morons who would go the extent of building a hospital in the middle of a paddy field where there are more cows then people just so they can make a buck through contracts, cleaning services, pharmaceuticals, IT, medical equipment..anything. And after all that the blinking hospital would have no doctors, no nurses, will be moulding and leaking away. Enough. More private hospitals must be approved and the government should just buy services… Read more »

Wong CF

I like to take a different view. It is not right for a government to restrict the number of private hospitals. That should be left to the free market forces. In Malaysia, there are actually not that many hospitals for a country that have attain the current level of development. The issue is really the shortage of doctors and nurses. There are ways to overcome this if the government is doing its job correctly, but unfortunately this is where the BN government has beeb screwing up. Every year there are many aspiring well qualified students who wish to get into… Read more »

JI

Moral of the story is if you can’t afford the medical cost, fall ills at your own peril.

Ganesh

For such a rich country like ours with abundant of natural resources, healthcare should be free.

If we banish corruption, crony culture, excessive spending, each and every hospital can provide free healthcare.

johanssm / khun Pana

I am not totally against having private hospitals. But there is a need for the citizen to have access to affordable health and hospitalization insurance. Just how many of us have such money to pay such insurance, as it is not cheap. Imagine the amount to pay just for a small family of 4. Pushing for better medical facilities is a good sign and it means more hospitals at more lcations but the government fails to introduce affordable insurance to the rakyat. This will have no help to me and a large segment of ordinary folks. I do recall the… Read more »