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Malaysia: Employers miffed by doctors' proposed single-payer national health insurance plan

Source: Asia Insurance Review | Feb 2017

The Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) has rejected a proposal from doctors for a national health insurance system that would allow all Malaysians to visit any hospital, private or public.
   MEF Executive Director Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan said that such a move would only enrich private hospitals and result in employers needing to fork out more money to fund the scheme, reported The Malay Mail.
   “There are 30 million people in the country and only about 14 million are in the workforce, both private and government staff. Are employers then to pay for the 14 million unemployed people to enjoy this so-called benefit as well?” he said.
   Doctors argued that the proposed national health insurance system would alleviate the burden at government hospitals which are being swamped now due to their low charges, while making private hospitals – currently shunned by the public due to their higher prices – more accessible.
   The doctors further argued that the proposal which would entail a single-payer, multiple-provider arrangement, could lead to better overall health care services for Malaysians, lower out-of-pocket spending, reduced waiting times and more modern medicines and technology.
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