Insurance cartels undermining quality of patient care, pressuring doctors

THE quality of healthcare in Malaysia is questionable, no thanks to insurance companies who are playing the role of judge, jury and executioner.

When purchasing a medical policy, all seems rosy and well, however as soon as there is a claim to be made, insurance companies pounce on policy holders and medical practitioners.

“Sky is the limit when insurance agents sell the ‘best’ coverage offered for a medical card. However, as soon as there is a claim to be made, doctors and patients are put under a microscope,” pointed out Consumers Association of Subang & Shah Alam (CASSA) president Datuk Dr Jacob George.

Datuk Dr Jacob George.

“Many doctors, with years of experience under their belt, are having to justify their course of action or drug of choice, simply because insurance companies are looking for a loophole to not pay out on claims.”

CASSA is calling for Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) to step in an address the issue of unscrupulous insurance companies.

It has come to a point, George said, that BNM has to intervene given the quality of healthcare in the country will be at stake if doctors have to justify to insurance companies about their medical choices.

He added a lot of their (insurance companies) queries infringe on doctor-patient confidentiality.

After all, being paymasters does not give them the right to question every single step taken by a medical practitioner to save a life.

“Are these insurance men qualified doctors, or pencil pushing bureaucrats hiding behind their desks?” asked George.

Elaborating further, he said any doubt of foul play can be addressed through proper channels which are already in place.

But many policyholders are still doubtful if BNM will intervene between insurance companies and them even after numerous reports have been filed? – Dec 28, 2020

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