MMA: Probe medical supply monopoly expose

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) wants the authorities to investigate an expose claiming that billions of ringgit worth of medical procurement for government hospitals and clinics was rigged.

Its president, Dr Ravindran Naidu, said the action of those involved is tantamount to a breach of trust, as the alleged massive leakages led to increases in medication costs, adversely affecting the health and lives of many Malaysians.

“The MMA calls for an open and transparent investigation into such serious allegations that not only threaten the lives and health of all citizens, but the core foundation of this nation.

“We also request for proper and clean procurement of medical supplies and full transparency of all concessionaire agreements,” he said in a statement today.

He was responding to a revelation that the drug procurement process under the previous government (BN) was fraudulent, with companies linked to politicians close to the previous government monopolising the supply of billions of ringgit worth of medical drugs to government medical facilities.

Ravindran said the government, and prominent people linked to the administration, should not have a position in the money-making business of medical supply or healthcare services.

He said this included the establishment and monopoly of the Foreign Workers Medical Examination Monitoring Agency (Fomema) and possession of a majority of private hospitals nationwide that were either associated to the government or owned by its investment arms.

“This existence and involvement of government-related entities or individuals has only heightened the possibilities for conflict of interest where supply chains, laws and regulations may benefit and patronise certain parties and compromise others.

“As a consequence, it will culminate in increasing healthcare costs and decreasing access, denying citizens the basic right to healthcare,” he said.

Ravindran added that it was distressing that this drug procurement monopoly revelation by certain prominent individuals came at a time when the nation is dealing with high national debt, following hospital budget cuts that have taken place in recent years.

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