MALAWI, Malaysia — Malaysia’s National Health and Family Planning Commission has decided not to increase the cost of SMPTs to 5,000 ringgit ($20) per month, despite claims from some medical organizations that they were already overpriced.
The commission, in a statement on Tuesday, said the agency was looking at various cost options for the new system, including whether to introduce an index of prices and whether to increase enrolment and other costs.
However, the commission said it was not able to confirm whether or not the cost would increase as the current market prices for the system are still too low.
It also noted that it was in the process of reviewing the pricing options, including for the health insurance market, to see if there are any other cost-effective alternatives.
As a result, the agency said the commission had decided to increase its initial price for SMPTS to 599 ringgit per month.
Malay health officials had been raising concerns about the high cost of the system for some time.
In March, the Malaysian Health and Personal Finance Commission (MHFPC) estimated that the cost for a one-year subscription to the SMP system would cost RM1,500.
After an outcry from medical groups, the government agreed to introduce a new fee structure in March to increase access to SMPs.
More than two million patients currently have SMP-registered insurance, but the new fee will only apply to patients who have not yet signed up for an SMP.
Currently, most patients in the country have only one insurance provider, which is often not sufficient to cover the cost, especially for a health care professional who often works in hospitals.
There is also a shortage of S-Packs, which are used by patients in emergencies and have not been standardized for use in other countries.
Under the new new fee system, patients will also be able to access a second SMP for each extra-cost item they incur.
With the new fees, patients can now also get SMP in other ways, such as with a credit card.
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