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Ministry Mulling New Law To Regulate Third Party Administrators

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GEORGE TOWN – The Ministry of Health is to propose drafting legislation to regulate Managed Care Organisations (MCO) and Third Party Administrators (TPA) under the provisions of the Private Healthcare Facilities and Services Act 1998.

Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said the ministry would look into all areas and study the need for the new law to regulate the whole industry of TPA.

“If there is a need, the MoH will propose a stand-alone new law to regulate the TPA who currently manage the health benefits of employees,” he said to reporters after attending the Malaysian Medical Association dinner last night in conjunction with its 57th annual general meeting here today.

Dr Subramaniam was commenting on a new trend by MCOs and TPAs to force doctors to pay between RM2,500 and RM5,000 as a one-off payment for the appointment of a panel clinic, or RM250 annually.

He said the TPAs and MCOs did not come under the ministry’s purview and that the service offered by them was under a contract between doctors and the entities.

Subramaniam also said that Malaysia today faced new challenges that might require it to adopt a different approach to overcome them for the greater benefit of the nation.

He said a rise in the incidence of non-communicable diseases, emergence of new communicable diseases, re-emergence of vaccine-preventable communicable diseases and an ageing population were among the main issues that the country faced now.

“Our health care spending is still very low compared to that of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) nations.

“Our health expenditure is only around 4.6 per cent of the total Gross Domestic Product compared to higher GDP expenditure in other countries, whereby 52 per cent of the spending is in the public sector and 48 per cent in the private sector,” he said. – BERNAMA

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