The Private Health Sector In Malaysia : An Assessment Of Government Regulation

by Prof. Dr. Nik Rosnah Wan Abdullah.



The thesis assesses the degree to which the Malaysian government exerts influence over the activities of private providers in health. The government’s stated objective in its mid-term Review of the Sixth Malaysia Plan (1991-1995) and Seventh Malaysia Plan (1996-2000) is to gradually reduce its role in the provision of health services and increase its regulatory and enforcement functions. The thesis examines the functioning of the regulatory system. It investigates the role of local government in licensing new hospitals and the Malaysian Medical Council and Malaysian Medical Association in regulating doctors. The study focuses on the issues of management and analysis of information, and the principal-agent relationship.

The study demonstrates that many of the Government’s objectives for regulating the private health sector are not realized due to lack of legal frame work as well fragmentation and lack of coordination among the relevant agencies. This is compounded by insufficient funding for a personnel policy that would increase its capacity. The study also demonstrates that the regulatory bodies of the medical profession do not reflect the interest of the users adequately. Their composition mostly represents medical practitioners and medical organisations. Their regulatory processes do not provide clear channels through which users can voice complaints. There are few sanctions for behaviour that harms patients.

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