(File pic) Health Deputy Minister Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahaya says the implementation of Full Paying Patient (FPP) scheme will not end subsidies for patients seeking treatment at government hospitals. Pix by INTAN NUR ELLIANA ZAKARIA.

IPOH: Health Deputy Minister Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahaya today said many quarters have misunderstood the Full Paying Patient (FPP) term by claiming it will end subsidies for patient seeking treatment at government hospitals.

He said FPP did not mean privatisation of healthcare services at government hospitals, but was implemented to provide an option for those who could afford to pay for their treatment.

"If the patient feel they can afford a specialist, then they can pay in full for their treatment which is still lower than the private hospitals," he said.

Dr Hilmi said the scheme would not affect existing benefits offered at government hospitals and clinics such as the RM1 registration fee and minimum RM30 of admission.

"In fact, the government will allocate RM25 billion to Health Ministry next year, an increase of RM2 billion." he said, after officiating the Ministry's training institute's Allied Health Sciences College Sultan Azlan Shah convocation ceremony, here, today.

The scheme, initiated in 2007, was to ensure retention of medical specialists in government hospital and provide them with extra income.

On another matter, Dr Hilmi said he disagreed with the Penang Institute's findings that Malaysia should consider reviewing its 1.6 million civil servants.

"I read the report this morning where it stated that 430,000 will be sufficient." he said, adding that it was unwise to reduce the number of civil servants because Malaysia still lacks doctors, paramedics and nurses.

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