|The Muslim Consumers Association of Malaysia has urged the Health Ministry to set up a hotline to track the people’s grouses. ― File pic
KUALA LUMPUR, July 28 — The Muslim Consumers Association of Malaysia (PPIM) today called on the Health Ministry to set up a database for consumer complaints against private hospitals.
PPIM president Datuk Nadzim Johan said the association has received over 50 complaints this year against private hospitals that either provide poor services or overcharge their patients and suggested that the Health Ministry set up a hotline to track the people’s grouses.
“We want all private hospitals to have a notice board that will direct its patients to a hotline for consumers to make a complaint to the Health Ministry,” he said.
He added that in the meantime the public is encouraged to send their complaints to PPIM so they can compile proper statistics can to present to the government as proof that there is a need for better regulation on private healthcare.
“We have received many complaints not just from Malaysians, but also tourists and foreigners who have received poor medical services.
“Medicine is a respected profession so we don’t want a negative perception to develop. We don’t want it to become like hospitals in the US where doctors have a key performance index (KPI) based on how many patients they bring in every day,” said Nadzim, who is also deputy chairman of Yayasan Patriot Negara Malaysia.
Siti Marzairinah Osman, 51, was one such complainant who sought the help of PPIM.
She told the press here today that she is in the midst of suing a private hospital for negligence since discovering discrepancies in her bills in 2010 after undergoing surgery to remove fibroids.
“I was in the hospital for three months and ten days and underwent five surgeries in that hospital,” she said.
“I am still not well and I can’t even walk on my own. I need someone to be with me all the time because I can pass out at anytime.”
She said her bill cost her RM300,000 and that she had to sell her property to cover the cost.
PPIM director Datuk Mohd Mustaffa Hamzah blamed Siti’s case on the greed of private hospitals and that there were more victims in similar situations.
“The ministry needs to start a database so complaints can be made and action can be taken against these hospitals by either fining them or revoking their licenses,” he said.