Recently, a Facebook post about a private hospital in Kuala Lumpur went viral for charging a patient RM201.60 for 18 pieces of 3-ply face masks. That’s RM11.20 each which is 7.5x above the permitted maximum price of RM1.50 per piece.
After the story was reported on several media outlets, the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry (KPDNHEP) had said that it is still waiting for an explanation from the private hospital on the alleged increased pricing of the face masks. According to the Deputy Minister, Datuk Rosol Wahid, the ministry has begun investigations on the matter and will take further action after receiving feedback from the hospital.
The Malaysian Pharmaceutical Society (MPS) had criticised KPDNHEP for not taking immediate action against the private hospital. The association which represents pharmacists had highlighted that the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry had acted ruthlessly on several pharmacies that have increased the prices of face masks. Fines ranging from RM20,000 to RM30,000 were issued without giving any opportunity for pharmacies to explain.
They urge the ministry not to practice double standards and to act fairly against all offenders whether it is a privately owned pharmacy or a conglomerate owned private hospital.