Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Star: MMA: Talk to stakeholders By LOH FOON FONG

The Star, Monday April 18, 2011

MMA: Talk to stakeholders


PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) wants the Government to hold dialogues with various stakeholders on its plan to form the national health financing scheme.

Its president Dr David Quek said the Government's 1Care health reform currently being carried out for the purpose of setting up the financing scheme “was going too fast and lacked information”.

“If we want change or reform, we must do it with a lot of consultation with stakeholders. They need to buy into the idea,” he said.

Dr Quek also questioned if there would be a future for private practice and personal choice medical care when the health financing scheme was introduced.

Addressing the Healthcare Reform: Issues and Economics of Integration and Reimbursement Mechanisms forum in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday, Dr Quek said the Government should explore various forms of healthcare change besides the national health financing scheme.

For a start, the Government should increase funding for healthcare and set up funds for catastrophic illnesses such as cancer so that people would not end up with medical bankruptcy, he said.

Dr Quek said that out-of-pocket payment in Malaysia amounted to 41% of all healthcare payment and there was a need to reduce the percentage by half because if it were to go beyond 50%, the risk of medical bankruptcy would increase.

United Nations University-International Institute of Global Health professor of health economics and consultant Prof. Datuk Dr Syed Mohamed Aljunid, urged the Government to implement a case-mix system, which was a reimbursement mechanism that would help it spend funds effectively while increasing the quality of healthcare.

In any healthcare reform, questions such as revenue collection, how resources are pooled, purchasing rules and implementation needed to be resolved, he said.

Comments in the Star:

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Tax incentive
Posted by: ahvincent

The 15% maximum tax and two tax free cars incentives will do little to attract M'sians overseas to return. Most of us left not because of money but because of other reasons the main one been the children's future.

Honestly, had I stayed back in Bolehland my standard of living is MUCH higher even without the incentives being offered.

The danger in this incentive is it will attract those who are thinking of returning anyway. The main reasons for returning is to look after aging old parents or the person didn't quite make it overseas anyway.


I agree with Dr David Quek (Malaysian Medical Association President) for his comments about the tax incentive of 15% for five years for Malaysians who return from overseas to work (The Star, Wed 13 April 2011, pg 2).

Will those Malaysians who are 'loyal' (and had returned home to work before this offer) be given the same tax incentive as a reward for not going to work overseas? Many Malaysians prefer to work overseas despite higher tax rates in many Western countries because of better career opportunities based on individual merit. So many bring their children overseas in the hope of securing a brighter future for future generations!

This tax incentive 'deal' also appears parallel to the discounts given to those who did not pay their traffic summonses before the deadline. Short-sighted measures thought up short-sighted politicians.

The long-term policies to prevent a brain drain should include better remuneration for professionals especially those in Government service, and, MOST importantly, EQUAL opportunities for career advancement. Otherwise those who may actually return to benefit from the 15% tax incentive may leave at the end of the 5-year period (or even sooner) when they discover that the career opportunities available here in Malaysia are not available to them!

1 comment:

Winston said...

The NHIS has been in the works for more than a quarter of a century.
Perhaps even millions had been spent on it.
A lot of complaints were made against the scheme as even those in the medical profession did not know what it's all about!
It was thought that it was abandoned when 1Clinic was launched.
So, now it seems that it is implemented on the sly!