ATTACKS ON PRIVATE HOSPITALS MISLEADING, VICIOUS AND FRIVOLOUS SAYS MALAYSIA ASEAN APEC LEAD CONSUMERIST PROF DR JACOB GEORGE

‘If you cheat and overcharge, the said patient will not return!
I know of specialists who on many occasions, refuse to charge their professional fees, to help patients who claim to be poor, only then to be seen driven off by their driver in a BMW 7 or other high performance cars!’
ATTACKS ON PRIVATE HOSPITALS MISLEADING, VICIOUS AND FRIVOLOUS SAYS MALAYSIA ASEAN APEC LEAD CONSUMERIST PROF DR JACOB GEORGE
Did a private hospital violate Section 11 of the Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act 2011 selling a three-ply face masks higher than the ceiling price?
We are told that the said hospital will be charged in court if it fails to pay the compound within the stipulated time.
There are allegations now that there are ‘back-room’ activities to address the matter by certain quarters!
As an expert, I will still comment on the issue at length.
We are told that on May 13, KPDNHEP conducted an inspection at the hospital following a viral story of a patient in a private hospital who was allegedly charged RM201.60 for 18 pieces of three-ply face masks used by the nurses.
The amount equals to RM11.20 a piece, while the ceiling price for the face set by the government is RM1.50 per piece.
Also seized from the hospital were several documents, including the three-ply face masks of the same type for further investigations.
At the time of writing this matter, others have gone viral and I am asking if certain government agencies especially the Domestic Trade Ministry are going overboard with the narrative by making statements and comments that creates not just confusion but perhaps wrong in law?
I add that it is critical and good that KPDNHEP is serious in ensuring the face masks supply are readily available at a price that is not more than the maximum price, but remember for consistency and in view of reality, one should not get carried away making statements which provides fodder that all adventurous patients will use to defame, threaten and blackmail a private healthcare institution based on the interpretation of this mask and other healthcare issue!
KPDNHEP went further to state that patients can, from now on, expect reasonable prices for treatment at private hospitals and can demand that private hospitals provide an estimate of their treatment costs, including the prices of medication, as well as the costs of nursing and treatment services, before undergoing treatment.
I have worked in a leading premier private hospital as its senior administrator before falling victim to high powered politics, racism, and eventual retrenchment of one person, me, and a battle over 12 years in both the industrial and civil courts that gave me eventually redemption to a certain degree but not compensate the pain, agony, loss of dignity, pressure on my family due to these roller-coaster rides!
Despite my deep resentment and hurt based on what happened to me personally, I still say we should be fair and truthful!
The pertinent question is are private hospitals really bleeding Malaysian consumers?
Are professionals and specialists in the Private healthcare facilities daily cheating and manipulating the figures to hurt the purse of patients and insurance companies?
Was it not for this allegation, we came out with the PRIVATE HEALTHCARE FACILITIES AND SERVICES ACT 1998, during the tenor of the then Health Minister, the proactive and no nonsense tolerating Chua Jui Meng in which as lead consumerist, I was also consulted and assisted in the drafting of the said Act!
The issue was the need to address profiteering.
And thanks to the legislation – PRIVATE HEALTHCARE FACILITIES AND SERVICES ACT 1998 we can now address this!
But first, the perimeters that must be made clear.
A private hospital is one which is owned and governed by a person or many people or a public listed company who are managing the whole finances on their own.
A public hospital, on the other hand, is completely and entirely run on the government’s funding and money.
This is a private institution and there is a separation of the tenants read specialist of various disciplines who provide a professional service within the hospital by taking space, paying rent, not just for work space but also for car park and they charge a professional fee for their area of expertise and service and the landlord read hospital charges a separate bill for the utilization and usage of services and facilities which the hospital as an entity provides.
The problem of interpretation is from ignorance and plain unadulterated stupidity!
Are consumers who have decided to go to a private establishment now screaming to be charged government rates?
Where is the profiteering?
Who is profiteering?
The specialists have their fee structure and the hospital has its own management structure and billing system that is widely regulated by the legislation and where there are avenues for appeals on chargers.
Nothing is cast in stone!
So it is plain greed and a vicious attack on the system when consumers making an informed choice, knowingly briefed on chargers, the medical issues and where there is a need for intervention no one can dictate exact figures that surrounds the treatment of cases which may be simple, complicated and others with risks based on the patients’ health and issues.
Is it just jumping on a bandwagon for any, even a consumer group, with no experience to call upon all groups, medical insurance providers who are the main culprits to protect their clients against being overcharged by private hospitals?
Before making statements which are cavalier and foolish like stating in blanket form or claiming all private healthcare institutions have profiteering tendencies, please do your homework if not, shut up!
Are we so stupid to say out of all groups, that medical insurance providers do not micro manage and scrutinize the bills submitted by private hospitals and question them if the charges are exorbitant?
Let us not challenge the intelligence of the masses!
This is 2020 not 1969!
As I write this piece, there is another case where another individual is blackmailing a private hospital on chargers for healthcare despite being advised thoroughly by the physicians!
This individual is now also using the social media to tarnish the image of the physicians both very reputable individuals just because he is politically connected?
I told the physicians to take him on!
I will assist!
CASSA Malaysia is ready to assist in a probe not just on the allegations but on this individual at the same time!
As for KPDNHEP, my advice is – please be careful.
Are you also going to charge all Malaysian 5 star hotels for profiteering for the costs of the say, Nescafe Ais or Nasi Lemak because it is far more costly than the Mamak restaurant?
Daily consumers make choices in their lives.
It could be choices on the purchasing of property, holiday trips, vehicles, goods and services, and healthcare!
Unless there is premeditated intention to cheat a consumer, it is perhaps better for government agencies and consumer groups to first investigate the allegations and not play patronizing politics!
Consumers are not always right!
Neither are all establishments’ thieves!
For the record, Singapore’s Health Ministry published a benchmark fee structure for common surgical procedures, to help patients make better-informed decisions.
But there was none on doctors’ consultation fees.
England and Australia’s private practitioners are free to determine their own fees; although the Australian Medical Association publishes an annual list of medical services and fees, it serves only as a recommendation.
In Japan, medical fees are regulated and reviewed every two years.
Basically I am advising the Malaysian government that there is nothing wrong for the government to allow market forces to determine medical practitioners’ fees.
But it would be good if a ceiling price is set so consumers are not forced to pay excessive charges.
But then again, let us be fair!
If you cheat and overcharge, the said patient will not return!
I know of specialists who on many occasions, refuse to charge their professional fees, to help patients who claim to be poor, only then to be seen driven off by their driver in a BMW 7 or other high performance cars!
One final note!
In 2018, there were around 240 private hospitals and certainly here consumers have an informed choice platform!
So let us all stop contributing to this circus of fake news, consumer groups and online media included!

WUHAN VIRUS@ COVID 19 – WILL THERE BE A SPIKE A SECOND WAVE BECAUSE OF IRRESPONSIBLE BEHAVIOR ASKS PROF DR JACOB GEORGE?

‘Sadly, I do not see the national flags except that in the US flying at half-mast in addressing the grief of the US fatalities!

I wonder why?

We had casualties in this war against Covid 19!

So far there have been no apologies from China either, only threats, and grandstanding at any who questions the Chinese version and narrative!

All we see and experience is death, destruction, fear, anxiety and a massive change of lifestyle, the total collapse of business both global and territorial!’

WUHAN VIRUS@ COVID 19 – WILL THERE BE A SPIKE A SECOND WAVE BECAUSE OF IRRESPONSIBLE BEHAVIOR ASKS PROF DR JACOB GEORGE?

As I update my blog, which is very popular abroad, in policy circles, I am advised the ‘war of words and of intimidation goes on between the Chinese, the US, Australia and others in Europe, which includes CASSA calling for a global group of scientist to be appointed by the United Nations to investigation the origins of the Wuhan Virus@Covid 19!

I do not want it to be a Chernobyl moment for China!

It must be based on facts!

It must be a high powered respected task force investigating this pandemic so that lessons can be learnt from it to equip us for something similar in the near future!

There are so many unanswered questions!

The reasons are there with deaths crossing the 344,338 mark and exposure at 5,424,165, with devastated economies, livelihoods, lives and recovery not immediately the fallout is just destructive – period!

But we remember that it only took 91 days for the death toll to pass 100,000 and a further 16 days to reach 200,000, according to the Reuters tally of official reports from governments.

Sadly, I do not see the national flags except that in the US flying at half-mast in addressing the grief of the US fatalities!

We had casualties in this war against Covid 19!

I wonder why?

So far there have been no apologies from China either, only threats, and grandstanding at any who questions the Chinese version and narrative!

All we see and experience is death, destruction, fear, anxiety and a massive change of lifestyle, the total collapse of business both global and territorial!

Communities have failed to realize or  understand that the Wuhan virus @Covid 19 is no respecter of race, religion, social or political status, political mantras, or of supremacy trends!

But despite that, in many parts of the world there is still super arrogance and a reluctance to change!

Or at least kill yourself IF you want to but not spread the infection to innocents by one’s own folly, misconception, racial and religious and theological ideologies, prejudices and bias!

In Malaysia, I am glad to hear that there were no deaths on May 24th 2020!

But there have been 60 new cases bringing Malaysia’s total to 7,245.

But a total of 1,185 people are still being treated, with nine of them in the intensive care unit (ICU), four of them requiring respiratory assistance, which is a worry.

With no new deaths reported, (operative word) linking it to the pandemic the death toll remains at 115, for now!

But the fact remains numbers of infections all depends on the numbers tested!

No great rocket science there!

But having stated that I am rather surprised that the advice of newly minted Special advisor to the prime minister on public health Dr Jemilah Mahmood position for a lockdown during Hari Raya Aidil fitri been necessary as a preventative measure against a spike in Covid-19 cases in the country was not taken seriously!

Again, I am certain her observations were based on the rise in Covid-19 cases in South Korea and Germany after things were relaxed there!

So I will join others who are worried that Malaysia could see a new wave of Covid-19 cases, possibly during Hari Raya, and post, with the abrupt end of most lock-down measures on May 4.

So far we have seen thousands of vehicles trying to cross state borders despite warnings and advice from the government!

We have seen despicable behavior by those out shopping, purchasing food post fasting, throwing wind to the protocols of safe distancing!

The careless and irresponsible behavior of certain individuals, communities and clusters just shocking!

While others, are behaving as if the world has seen the last of this pandemic, by going crazy, shopping with their children, even infants and not following safe distancing guidelines, while a third are beating their own breast boasting that they saved a nation and a fourth cashing in on the fears of a frightened lot?

Then we have our tertiary students who violated the mandatory 14-day quarantine as reported, in the media on May 19, which I concur is an irresponsible and criminal act, that can put many others in danger of getting infected with Covid-19.

Did they not realize that they were indeed putting their own – elderly loved ones, children and those with a history of chronic diseases at serious risk of complications from Covid-19?

Today the first day of the Eid festivity, we witnessed thousands of cars on the road, massive jams, and their occupants were certainly visiting others, based on their festivity attire.

I thought the government had advised all Malaysians to restrain themselves as not to be the cause and source of new clusters and a second super wave which will result in more infections and fatalities?

Based on today’s observations, we cannot deny that there is a very large cluster of recalcitrant in Malaysia who do and behave as they wish.

Their behavior undermines all our sacrifices from previous Movement Control Orders (MCOs)!

Based on what I witnessed today, I fear for our front liners because of these recalcitrant, idiots and morons, these kurang ajar groups!

I feel sad for Malaysia’s two real national heroes, the two who should be the ones receiving the accolades and the praise for a great work done addressing this pandemic!

One is in HKL and the other at Sungei Buloh Hospital, front-line!

So cruel is life, when the politics of the 3Rs play a pivotal role in public policy initiatives and deliberations?

So wide is the hypocrisy and greed! 

In academia, we call them plagiarism!

In this case, what do we call it?

LEAD CONSUMERIST PROF DR JACOB GEORGE ASKS: ARE SPECIAL INTEREST PREDATORS CASHING IN ON PEOPLES FEAR AND INSECURITIES IN VIEW WUHAN VIRUS@COVID 19.

‘But kudos and thank God for our security apparatus, the Police force and Army who have being doing a super professional job!
Thank you for the well planned and launched operations to address illegal foreigners, economic migrants, many alleged to be infected!’
LEAD CONSUMERIST PROF DR JACOB GEORGE ASKS: ARE SPECIAL INTEREST PREDATORS CASHING IN ON PEOPLES FEAR AND INSECURITIES IN VIEW WUHAN VIRUS@COVID 19.
As I write this blog update, one group of people are running irresponsibly mad, trying to go back to their villages, townships, home states!
While others, are behaving as if the world has seen the last of this pandemic, by going crazy, shopping with their children, even infants and not following safe distancing guidelines, while a third are beating their own breast boasting that they saved a nation and a fourth cashing in on the fears of a frightened lot?
Then we have our tertiary students who violated the mandatory 14-day quarantine as reported, in the media on May 19, which I concur is an irresponsible and criminal act, that can put many others in danger of getting infected with Covid-19.
Did they not realize that they were indeed putting their own – elderly loved ones, children and those with a history of chronic diseases at serious risk of complications from Covid-19?
Looks like we have wasted our monies on educating a bunch of idiots who are UN-teachable?
But kudos and thank God for our security apparatus, the Police force and Army who have being doing a super professional job!
Thank you for the well planned and launched operations to address illegal foreigners, economic migrants, many alleged to be infected!
Thank you FOR NOT paying attention to the noise made by third parties, foreign and others, working and teaching in educational or NGO ivory towers, masquerading as if they have a monopoly on self-righteousness?
This is an internal security issue so these self appointed Vigilantes told to butt out!
On the ground, there are food security issues and of pricing and accessibility as I stated when interviewed by the media!
And shocks and shivers how private hospitals are cashing in on the fears, anxiety of patients?
And like many countries, in Malaysia there are so many versions of the truth and depends where one is positioned what are one’s political and personal greed and persuasions?
There is so much propaganda and several media houses already manipulating the news, their anchor personalities using their imagination to position themselves and their employers in front positions.
There is no regret, remorse that they have become peddlers of fake news?
For those who are politically and financially insulated, perhaps there is no need to rush back into full business operations!
These idiots want us to strategize, plan and implement changes in procedures, whatever that means to those who have suffered heavy losses and in debts to landlords, suppliers, service providers and others!
Of course it is rather cheap to advise others even if they are themselves living in ivory towers and refusing to see the rot that is entrenched within, under their own leadership?
Those I have spoken to have now accumulated financial losses running into hundreds of thousands, they had to lay off staff, and they are behind on payments!
Yesterday I sat alongside three who asked me to help negotiate a settlement with creditors and landlords.
They are walking away handing over the full furnished premise being unable to meet the demands of the creditors and landlords, most of them cash rich billionaires, who refuse to give rental breaks to their always faithful tenants, the current victims of this global pandemic!
Did you say stimulus package?
What stimulus package?
So people are struggling and you are advising them to take time to plan and do what is necessary to comply with standard procedures for their respective business sectors and abide by the new norms in the workplace, when they are staring at closure?
The poor childcare and kindergarten teachers are unpaid, the school bus driver and operators are cash strapped, the self-employed from service providers and hair-dressers still awaiting protocols like this is some rocket science awaiting the medical intelligentsia who themselves are as blur as Sotongs to give advice?
What a disconnect but I am certain no one is surprised anymore at all these double talk, hypocrisy and verbal diarrhea by our political and civil servants who have yet to step foot in the front lines?
Currently, there is only one mentally challenged group who from the onset has been selfish, self-serving and self-contained with warped ideas throwing to the wind social responsibility, discipline and compliance!
Senior Minister for Security Ismail Sabri Yaakob has alluded to them when he cited those thousands attempting to cross state borders will be issued compounds instead of being asked to turn back, as thousands continue their bid at interstate travel.
The North-South highway is currently clogged with ‘thousands of vehicles!’
(facebook pix)
Deeply regret to state no prizes to guess who these morons and idiots are who could be the reason for a spike and second wave of infections and deaths?

THE POLITICS OF WUHAN VIRUS @COVID 19 & CHINESE INTELLIGENCE SPINS – IS IT WRONG TO SEEK THE TRUTH, ASK MALAYSIA ASEAN APEC LEAD CONSUMERIST & HUMAN RIGHTS ATTORNEY PROF DR JACOB GEORGE?

So far there has been no apology to the world from China!
There however has been, Chinese intelligence spins, propaganda on social media, attacks and threats against any government who questions Beijing!
THE POLITICS OF WUHAN VIRUS @COVID 19 & CHINESE INTELLIGENCE SPINS – IS IT WRONG TO SEEK THE TRUTH, ASK MALAYSIA ASEAN APEC LEAD CONSUMERIST & HUMAN RIGHTS ATTORNEY PROF DR JACOB GEORGE?
Excuse me – we are in lock-down.
War like conditions, our lives forever impacted, economies spiraling into the abyss of darkness!
The poor, daily waged the vulnerable hitting new lows!
And yet we hear allegations that subsidies allocated for them being robbed, shortchanged or pictures/stickers of politicians and parties pasted on them as if they are the providers?
Every time assistance is given the media is invited and pictures uploaded in the social media.
Do these shenanigans know no shame?
What is taught by their religions and cultures?
This universal virus attack, accident or a well-planned coordinated miss-step raises many questions than answers in the international corridors of power.
Most importantly, why no early warning was initiated or alert in October/November 2019?
Instead of a clampdown using deep state tactics?
Why were Chinese nationals allowed to fly abroad once it was known there was a problem domestically?
The indifference either because it was intended or because of idiocy and foolishness the impact was felt in the UK, the US, in Italy, Spain and other countries, shocking images show military vehicles deployed to pick up dead bodies from overwhelmed hospitals.
That was not all!
Front-liners and health workers were put in a situation of ‘playing God’ to decide which patients get scarce life-saving equipment.
Yet, the far-reaching restrictions imposed by governments to provide short-term relief will need to be carefully weighed against the long-term collateral damage they might cause.
How to exit the impasse?
The Wuhan Viras@Covid-19 has caused an unprecedented global crisis may have changed the world profoundly and forever.
So far there has been no apology to the world from China!
There however has been Chinese intelligence spins, propaganda on social media, attacks and threats against any government who questions Beijing!
We saw it in the cross-fire between them and the US and even Australia!
From feed-backs with my learned friends in the medical fraternity I am advised that the virus is scarier than the SARS and MERS pandemics and spreads more easily than those locally confined Ebola outbreaks of the past.
Lives impacted, lifestyle changes start, economies on plateaus and spirally down need to stop the free fall.
Then we cannot avoid that elephant in the room either!
Far-reaching restrictions of fundamental freedoms!
These are unprecedented damage on many levels as both politicians and civil servants play god?
Then you have internationally where court cases are suspended and legal systems shut down, doing irreparable damage to the rule of law.
Fundamental civil rights such as the freedom of assembly are suspended, providing an ideal pretext for semi-authoritarian governments to extend their powers indefinitely, as seen in Hungary.
The manner law is interpreted in some countries raises deep anxiety as well!
Even the judgments which pitches a lack of coherence and clarity or worst, the interpretation of the law justly, across the board!
The irony is the deep state or Chinese-style measures that would have been inconceivable a few months ago, such as personalized tracking of phones, are suddenly adopted in EU member states without much of a public outcry.
When countries decide to close their borders and cause long traffic jams on highways, supply chains risk being interrupted.
Many consumers and marginalized communities feel the pain of the lack of essentials and as costs of living rises when one is either out of work or daily wager things become more complicated!
There are already reports of the psychological, social damage, rising domestic violence, suicides, closing businesses and other pressures that are adders to an already growing pain.
Certainly, there is no one-size-fits-all approach when and to what extent restrictions should be lifted.
Like Italy, Sweden and Denmark, all have their own trajectory.
In this part of the world Indonesia looks like a terrible nightmare and its impact felt in Malaysia as some of our citizens return and confirmed impacted!
It is superb that we have the quarantined protocols in place!
Sadly no matter where one looks the real casualty of this pandemic has been the lack of clear communication!
It is a sheer madness!
Lessons not learnt!
Politicians stupid as they are seeking publicity in a matter where they are no experts let alone knowledgeable!
I have always stated the obvious – that need for consistency, clarity, coherence to move forward intelligently.
It needs to be clearly communicated as well, that society cannot maintain the current shut down indefinitely!
Governments around the world need an effective exit strategy.
No country in the current lock-down can continue stimulus packages either!
One last point!
It is rather strange that today Virologists, epidemiologists and doctors currently dominate the decision-making process and have more influence than ever.
I do not disagree that their expertise is critical.
But it is also important to listen to others, namely economists, psychologists, civil society members to join the table discussion and assess the risks and trade-offs governments will face in the coming months.
This is a team event not for self-serving politicians or individuals using a pandemic for personal glorification, media attention and spin!

MALAYSIAN ASEAN APEC LEAD CONSUMERIST PROF DR JACOB GEORGE CALLS FOR AN INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION OF INQUIRY ON THE ORIGINS OF THE PANDEMIC!

 

‘For now the operative word is truth and accountability which in many countries have been sacrificed at the altars of political expediency, greed, betrayal, profiteering and self-interest!’

MALAYSIAN ASEAN APEC LEAD CONSUMERIST PROF DR JACOB GEORGE CALLS FOR AN INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION OF INQUIRY ON THE ORIGINS OF THE PANDEMIC!

As of April 28, 2020, the outbreak of the Wuhan Virus @coronavirus disease (COVID-19) had spread to six continents, and approximately 212,337 people had died after contracting the respiratory virus.

This is a tragedy!

This is political and economic genocide!

And economies have taken a beating globally.

And no one knows for certain if ever we will see a recovery within the next 6 years at best.

China feels the heat turned on her at each and every turn as international calls increase for accountability and truth to be known!

Though China is pushing back against the growing chorus of voices around the world calling for the country to pay compensation for the damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic but I go a step further by calling for an international inquiry on the origins of this pandemic in global interest and accountability and most importantly as a long due respect to those victims of this outbreak.

Those who think they are innocent need fear nothing and as such there is no need for threats of economic backlash as threatened against Australia and the United States of America!

For now the operative word is truth and accountability which in many countries have been sacrificed at the altars of political expediency greed, betrayal, profiteering and self-interest!