Thursday, January 14, 2010


Where on earth can you find clinics with no doctors? Where else but Malaysia? It is beyond my intelligence and comprehension why you have clinics in the first place if you don't have doctors unless..... Well, who wants to go to such clinics and risk your life with unqualified *(#*($(#* and wait for #*@#*(@() hours just to get some made in Malaysia paracetamol?

1Malaysia this, 1Malaysia that, 1Malaysia everywhere. However, all I see are 2s or 3s or 4s. Anything is possible in Malaysia I tell you. Nothing amaze or surprise me anymore. Malaysia Boleh, apa pun boleh!

1Malaysia clinics to go on operating without doctors (Update)

KUALA LUMPUR: 1Malaysia clinics will go on operating without doctors.

Patients with serious illnesses would be referred to hospitals and polyclinics, said Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said although he understood the concerns of the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA), the country was facing a shortage of doctors.

“It is our intention to have doctors at all clinics. But in reality, we do not even have enough doctors in hospitals.

“This does not mean the people should be deprived of medical services. Medical assistants and nurses can help out here,” he said.

MMA president Dr David Quek had expressed concern over the 1Malaysia clinics, citing that clinics should be manned by registered medical doctors.

Dr Quek said that clinics run by medical assistants and nurses could lead to poorer standard of healthcare.

Liow said he had met with representatives from MMA on Jan 8 to address their concerns.

“The MMA and the government have the same objective, which is to improve the standards of health services.

“We are short of doctors, even in hospitals and the big clinics. So doctors, and also locums, will be posted there.

“If patients have a serious illness, they should be referred to hospitals and polyclinics. 1Malaysia clinics are only for light illnesses, such as cough and cold,” he said.

Liow said since the 1Malaysia clinics were opened last week, he had been receiving positive feedback with many quarters asking for more clinics to be opened.

“We will stick to the 50 first and evaluate its performance. Now, 44 had started operations, and the remaining six will open by the end of the month. The delay is due to renovation works,” he said.

Liow was speaking to reporters after handing out RM2mil each to the Tung Shin Hospital and the Chinese Maternity Hospital Tuesday.

He said the two hospitals, which are non-profit oriented, had an excellent record of service and hoped the contribution would help them to continue serving the people.

On a request by the hospitals to have their assessment tax waived, Liow said he would make an appeal with Federal Territories Minister Datuk Raja Nong Chik Zainal Abidin.

“We give them subsidies, so it doesn’t make sense to tax them,” he said.

Tung Shin Hospital vice-president Tan Sri Tee Hock Seng, who is also MCA treasurer-general, welcomed the government contribution and said the monies would be used to upgrade medical services to the poor and needy.

Thursday January 14, 2010
A step backwards in healthcare system

While the 1Malaysia clinic is welcomed by most sectors of the community, it hangs gloomily and hopelessly for the medical profession, very much like the situation when the Private Healthcare Facilities & Services Act and Regulations were forced upon the medical profession a few years ago.

It is undeniable that the 1Malaysia clinic will most certainly have a negative impact on the competitiveness of private clinics, especially general practitioners, no matter what others might argue.

But this is not the only concern our medical profession is worried about; the greater worry is the slow but steady erosion of the status, role and function of traditional doctors.

The proposed separation of dispensing and prescription rights for doctors, the restriction of our medical practice by the PHFS Act and Regulations, and the definitive “task shifting” of a doctor’s role and functions to other medical, health, pharmaceutical and laboratory personnel mean that doctors would eventually be left with limited functions to perform.

And if pharmacists were to have their way in pressuring the Government to have the prescription rights on top of the dispensing rights from doctors, then doctors would be reduced to nothing more than mere medical clerks!

Doctors, hospital assistants, and nurses are each trained specifically for their respective roles and functions in a healthcare system which we have accepted, adopted, and implemented, governed by the Medical Act and the PHFS Act & Regulations.

Under the system, only medical practitioners registered with the Malaysian Medical Council are allowed to practise as doctors and to set up and run clinics.

Hospital attendants and nurses are paramedics, whose functions are only to serve as auxiliary helpers for the doctors. They cannot act or substitute for doctors.

The PHFS Act & Regulations was recently introduced by the Government to force private practitioners to upgrade their clinics to meet the design, facilities and equipment specified by the Health Ministry and specifically to ensure that each clinic has a qualified and fully registered medical practitioner.

The implementation of the 1Malaysia clinic contradicts the design and purpose of the PHFS Act & Regulations, and is a step backwards in our healthcare delivery system.

While our country is moving towards 2020 to be a developed nation, it brings us to the same level as the barefoot doctors of China when it was still backwards.



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