Enhancements to Madani Medical Scheme: A Step Forward, Says Malaysian Medical Association
Welcoming the Improvements to Madani Medical Scheme
The Malaysian Medical Association (MMA), representing the nation’s healthcare fraternity, acknowledged the recent improvements to the Madani Medical Scheme (SPM). The SPM, supervised by ProtectHealth, saw an increase in the consultation fee from RM30 to RM35, and a raise in the limit for combined consultation and medication costs from RM60 to RM70 per visit. Although MMA’s request for a higher limit of RM50 for consultation fees was not met, Dr. Azizan Abdul Aziz, President of the MMA, appreciated the increment as a positive development.
Public-Private Partnerships and Stakeholder Consultations
While the enhancements were welcomed, the MMA stressed the importance of early stakeholder consultations, especially in the planning stage of any public-private partnerships. This proactive approach allows for smooth execution and implementation of schemes such as the SPM. The MMA believes that future partnerships can greatly benefit from this approach, ensuring that the needs and expectations of all involved parties are adequately addressed.
Expansion of the Scheme and Additions to Medication List
Alongside the increment in fees, ProtectHealth also expanded the SPM nationwide from September 15 and added 20 new drugs to the medication list. This national rollout of the scheme and the broadened range of medications are seen as significant steps in enhancing the reach and effectiveness of the SPM, thus benefiting a larger pool of patients across the country.
Need for Co-Payments in Certain Cases
Despite the positive changes, MMA recommended further enhancements to the SPM. The association advocated for the introduction of co-payments, especially in instances where the current cap of RM70 for consultation and medication per visit falls short. Dr. Azizan argued that patients who are willing to pay more for certain illnesses that may not require hospital referral should be allowed to do so. For instance, acute asthma care with an infection may cost more than the current cap permits. In such cases, patients should have the option to pay the additional charges, which could range between RM90 and RM100.
Conclusion: A Positive Development with Room for Improvement
Overall, the MMA sees the recent changes to the SPM as a step in the right direction. However, it also highlights the potential for further enhancements, such as the introduction of co-payments, to make the scheme more accommodating and beneficial to patients. The MMA also stresses the need for early stakeholder consultations in future public-private partnerships for smoother execution and implementation.
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