今日最新！太可怕！經濟不景氣，金飯碗也崩塌！過去三年全國總共有超過 500 家私人診所關門倒閉！連醫生都找不到吃！
Clinics closed due to poor business
PETALING JAYA: As many as 500 clinics run by generalpractitioners (GPs) were estimated to have closed between 2014 and2016 due to poor business.
And the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) is worried that thesituation may worsen.
Its president Dr Ravindran R. Naidu said a study involving 1,800GPs revealed widespread concern over the financial sustainabilityof their clinics.
The findings from Study on the Health Economics of GeneralPractitioners in Malaysia: Trends, Challenges and Moving Forwardin 2016 revealed that the expenses for managing GP services hadincreased over the years due to changes in policies as well asthe involvement of the unregulated third party administrators(TPAs), said Dr Ravindran.
The findings showed almost 70% of clinics saw fewer than 30patients a day, while the operating cost of a clinic in an urbanarea ranges from RM50,000 to RM60,000 a month.
「With the drop in number of patients and increasing cost, itwill eventually lead to the natural death of the GP practice,」 saidDr Ravindran, adding that prior to this, instances of clinicsclosing down were rare as they would typically be sold or passed onto others to run should the doctors retire or migrate.
Dr Ravindran argued that TPAs must take the main share of theblame as they had removed some patients from GPs.
「They negotiate with companies and take away patients from oneclinic and pass them to other clinics,」 he said, adding thatTPAs place restrictions on consultation fees, types of medicationprescribed, while charging GPs a fee for every patient theysee.
Contributory factors, said Dr Ravindran, include theoverproduction of doctors and the introduction of the contractsystem for those in public service.
He said as the Government would only take 50% of the doctorsafter a four-year contract, the rest are likely to become GPs, thussaturating the sector even further.
The solution to this, argued Dr Ravindran, is that theGovernment has to cut down on the number of students studyingmedicine as there were 5,000 medical students graduating eachyear.
「The other alternative is to build more hospitals while allmedical colleges should have their own hospitals,」 he said.
The vice-president of the Medical Practitioners CoalitionAssociation of Malaysia, Dr M. Raj Kumar, agrees that clinicsseeing below 30 patients a day were unsustainable.
「A clinic needs at least 30 patients, depending on locality,」 hesaid, adding that operating costs have skyrocketed in recent yearssuch as the various licences needed for the practice, medicinecosts that increase every six months, the introduction of GST,and rise in wages for nurses and assistants.
「The poor economy is also forcing the public to visitgovernment clinics,」 he said.
Many doctors, especially solo practitioners, end up joiningemergency rooms in hospitals, take up locum stints or joinpharmaceutical companies.