Health care is something that I believe, should not be privatized. A sick, weak and severely threatened person is in no position to negotiate.
Do consult all our religious teaching and conscience – is holding the sick, terrified and weak, and his or her loved one to ransom the right thing to do?
Let’s take KPJ Healthcare Berhad as a sample and examine the additional costs that we have to bear in privatized healthcare
In financial year ended 31 December 2010, it earned revenue of RM1.6 billion with a profit after tax of RM126million. Now that is a lot of extra cash for sick persons to dish out.
2. Additional cost for running private companies: samples of unnecessary expenses include RM68.9mil rental of land and building, RM7.6 mil for advertising, RM2mil for directors’ remuneration and RM0.8 mil for auditors. (Refer to Note 8 again). No such necessity for public hospitals.
Mahathirnomics drove the medical cost up as well. Do you know that in October 1996, Faber Group, a hotel business was suddenly given a 15 year concession to provide cleaning services to 15 government hospitals and today, it has made enough money to publicly gloat about the huge amount of profit made as a result of having a monopoly of cleaning jobs that civil servants could have done at no profit at all.
3. In the balance sheets of KPJ, total investments in shares of subsidiaries and associated companies were RM762.6 mil and RM307.4 mil respectively. These are mostly money spent on buying shares of companies and nothing to do with providing medical services.
The RM56.6 mil above was spent on buying shares of SMC Healthcare Sdn Bhd (RM51mil) and Sri Kota Refractive & Eye Centre Sdn Bhd (RM5.6 mil) so made some shareholders happy and leave patients to foot the cost of these acquisitions.
4. Being a business conglomerate, it is normal to borrow money from banks to buy assets to operate the business, and also buy into other companies as mentioned above. Of course, the banks will charge interest which the business would build into their invoices to customers/patients. A public hospital would not need bank loans as tax money is interest free. The profit and loss accounts show interest expense of RM6 mil and RM14 mil for 2 years running.
5. KPJ paid dividends of RM41mil and RM77 mil for 2010 and 2009 respectively. Would you like to pay for some dividend income to so rich entrepreneurs as you are suffering from pain and feeling extreme discomfort and vulnerable?
6. We are suppose to pay taxes to the government so that we can get good public service in return, for example competent medical service. However, in privatized healthcare, we see a reversal whereby government tax is a “mark-up” on an already inflated medical bill.
7. Retained profit means money earned and kept in the company not for public entitlement. In 2010, KPJ spent RM62mil of its retained profits as dividend (RM41mil) and bonus shares (RM21 mil) while RM393mil worth of accumulated profits is sitting in the consolidated balance sheet. (refer Note 35). So imagine paying RM393 million extra for people to sit on it, after paying off dividends.
It is most galling to find KPJ is owned by Johor Corporation, a government body! So it is a caring government charing private profits unto its citizen and levy tax on these charges. What a double whammy!
Incidentally, it excluded itself as a bumiputra shareholder but I will let it introduced itself:
ABOUT JOHOR CORPORATION
Johor Corporation (JCorp) is a market-driven Johor State Government-linked Corporation. It is to date one of Malaysia’s leading business conglomerates, comprising more than 280 member companies and employing more than 65,000 employees in Malaysia as well as regionally.
Alhamdulillah, the successful growth of the JCorp Group into a sizeable corporate entity that it is today has been fundamentally due to the energy and drive of hundreds of Intrapreneurs throughout the Group, all achieved without any promise of privatisation, stock options, or MBO. JCorp’s Intrapreneurs were energized and driven fundamentally by their higher pursuit for fully translating into reality JCorp’s Business Jihad ideals!
Personally, I have strong resentment against a market driven government who declare business jihad and profiteering on the sick and suffering it suppose to look after. I do not think Islam condone profiteering on someone who is sick, injured and in need.
1Malaysia, Rakyat Diutamakan indeed.
Tackling rising costs (HL)
by Sean AugustinPUTRAJAYA: The government has introduced a new National Key Result Area (NKRA) to tackle the rising cost of living affecting the people, the prime minister said yesterday.
Proponents of capitalism might say those who refuse to pay can turn to public hospital instead but given the brain drain away from public hospitals and other well documented problems with Malaysian public hospitals, how many satisfactory alternatives Malaysians have and are they getting their tax money’s worth back?