Monday, November 18, 2013

Doctors unhappy with medical group

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 18 — Doctors have aired their grouses over the selection process and payment by Qualitas Medical Group Sdn Bhd in providing healthcare for foreign students in the country.
Qualitas was employed by Education Malaysia Global Services (EMGS) as part of the one-stop centre’s effort to streamline the intake of foreigners studying in Malaysia. 
A doctor was baffled why her application was rejected by Qualitas despite her clinic located near several colleges.
“We have conducted check-ups for foreign students. Our clinic also conducts medical screening for insurance companies and foreign workers under the Fomema scheme. We do not see the reason why Qualitas rejected our application,” the doctor said.
“Students required to do their check-ups will have to now travel a distance to get it done. This is troublesome and they will incur more cost.”
The doctor was informed by Qualitas its scrutiny committee were unable to accommodate her request since they have appointed clinics within a reasonable distance from her location.
Another doctor, who serves in a panel clinic appointed by Qualitas, is baffled why they are only paid RM65 per student. Students are required to pay EMGS RM250 for their medical check-up on top of the RM1,000 processing fee. Qualitas will then receive RM200 while EMGS retains the balance of RM50.
“We only get RM25 for X-ray and RM40 for drawing their blood which amounts to RM65. This is less than what we get from screening foreign workers. We feel like we are being bullied.”
Efforts to contact Qualitas over the weekend proved futile. 
The grouses of foreign students and doctors were first highlighted by The Malay Mail in a report “Foreign student uproar” on June 17.
Malaysia Medical Association president Datuk Dr N.K.S. Tharmaseelan, had in our subsequent report “Profit sharing fiasco” on June 18, claimed he was unaware of the new policy of screening foreign students, adding monopoly and fee-splitting is against medical ethics.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam, had on July 1, criticised the alleged monopoly by Qualitas.
Despite the uproar, EMGS refuted claims of Qualitas being anti-competitive and insisted the RM50 it retains from each student was used for operating costs including online systems and maintenance, review of medical examination reports, medical audits and reporting to the relevant government agencies.

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