PETALING JAYA: Government hospitals have been told to cut down on unnecessary medical tests in a cost-cutting measure set to take effect from January, The Sunday Star reported today.
In its exclusive report, The Sunday Star said new guidelines on appropriate tests and investigations for the “Top 10” diseases, under the “bundle system”, will be implemented and this included pneumonia, diabetes, chest pain and heart failure.
Health Ministry deputy director-general Dr Jeyaindran Sinnadurai told The Sunday Star the “bundle system” referred to costs and care provided for a medical condition across the entire care cycle.
The move to introduce bundles will address the current problem of doctors ordering too many tests, ordering them too frequently, or relying too much on test results rather than their clinical acumen to treat patients.
“Bundles achieve better outcomes with lower costs. The Harvard Business Review recently talked about trimming tests and setting a single price for treating a patient’s particular medical condition, as the way forward in cost containment.
Over-dependence on tests must stop, doctors should use their clinical skills and acumen to guide them, he said, adding that tests were only to confirm a diagnosis, or estimate the degree of severity.
Dr Jeyaindran, however, said doctors could still conduct additional tests if really necessary.
This move, he said, was expected to save the ministry between 10% and 15% annually. -FMT