PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Medical Council (MMA) has called on the government to regulate third-party administrators (TPA).

MMA President Dr Azizan Abdul Aziz said in a statement that one of the issues was the practise of fee-splitting, where TPAs take a percentage from the total bill charged to patients.

With these third parties deducting between 10 per cent and 15 per cent from the total bill, Azizan said it could affect a private clinic’s sustainability and quality of care, as general practitioners (GPs) would be forced to cut costs or adjust prices to cover their losses.

“We wish to remind all private medical practitioners that under the guidelines set by the Malaysian Medical Council (MMC), fee-splitting is unethical practice.

“If left unchecked, these unethical practices in our healthcare system will lead to a further escalation in healthcare costs, in particular private primary care services,” she said.

She added that TPAs also charge private GP clinics high registration fees in order to be listed as a panel clinic, had the habit of delayed payments and rejection of claims and have an unstandardised registration and verification processes.

She explained that MMA had been engaging with the Ministry of Health (MOH) on the matter since 2015, but there has been no regulatory action to address the issue.

She proposed that an authoritative body be established to regulate TPAs and enforce ethical practices to protect patients and private medical practitioners.

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