The public can expect to be charged higher consultation fees by doctors in private clinics soon as the general practitioners' charges of between RM10 and RM35 are to be increased to between RM35 and RM125.
The increase was agreed to at the ‘Town Hall Session: Stakeholders Consultation on the Proposed Revision of General Practitioners' Charges’ which was held at the Health Ministry yesterday.
Speaking to reporters after moderating at the session, deputy director-general of health (medical) Dr Azman Abu Bakar said the revision of the charges was due as the last time it was done was in 2006.
"The more complex one's illness, the higher the consultation charge will be. The ceiling price for the consultation charge is RM125," he said.
Azman said the town hall session was the last session before he presented the paper on the proposed revision to Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad.
"The Health minister will then submit the proposed revision of general practitioners' charges to the Attorney-General’s Chambers and, if all goes well, it will then be presented to the cabinet for its endorsement," he added.
Azman did not rule out the possibility of the new consultation charges being implemented at the beginning of next year.
He said the ministry had also conducted discussions with various individual groups on the matter.
"And, today, we gathered all the stakeholders, not only the doctors who run their own clinics but non-governmental organisations and consumer groups. This is to ensure that the revision of the general practitioners' charges is done fairly," he said.