Parliament: Health, Consumerism Ministries Discuss Ceiling Price For Expensive Medicines

KUALA LUMPUR, March 20 (Bernama) -- The Health Ministry will hold talks with the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry to set a ceiling price for medicines.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said the objective of the talks was to draw up a policy to control the price of medicines to enable the poor to also buy them.

"This will give us a chance to help the poor. This is one way to ensure that this group gets the necessary treatment.

"We will see how we can find an effective way. I hope we can help many people get the optimal treatment," he said in his winding-up speech for the royal address for the home ministry at the Dewan Rakyat sitting today.

He said the price of medicines for chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart problems on the market was high.

Separately, Dr Subramaniam agreed there was still shortage of specialists in government hospitals, but the ministry was confident this issue would be resolved soon.

"In 2012, we trained 300 specialist doctors in various fields, and this has increased to 1,000 a year. This shows a three-fold increase," said the Segamat MP, adding the ministry was targeting to train 1,500 specialist doctors by next year.