Materia Medica Malaysiana

September 29, 2004

109642850082940955

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 11:27 am

Doctor loses patience trying to offer services to government

KLANG: General practitioner Dr K. Balachandran wanted to register to work part-time in government hospitals and clinics, so he got on the phone to find out how to go about it.

Instead of getting the help he needed, he spent a frustrating morning yesterday making over 10 calls and being given the runaround by various departments under the Health Ministry.

“By the end, I was really fed up with the whole thing. Here I am responding to the Health Minister’s call to serve but my intention is hampered by lack of information on the ground,” he said.

Minister Datuk Dr Chua Soi Lek had expressed disappointment on Sunday that only one private doctor had taken up the RM40 an hour part-time job in government hospitals and clinics since the offer was opened a month ago.

Dr Chua had said private doctors should stop making accusations or giving excuses as to why they could not take up the offer, adding that those interested could contact their respective state health departments.

According to Dr Balachandran, 52, he first called the Klang health office.

“The staff members I spoke to said they did not have the registration form nor did they know the details of the programme.

“They suggested I try the Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital. I did, but it was also not much help there,” he said.

Undeterred, he tried the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) and Malaysian Medical Council (MMC) but found that they were not involved with the registration.

On the MMC’s suggestion, he tried the Health director-general’s office, which referred him to first the Selangor health department and then the minister’s office.

Dr Chua’s office finally told him to try a certain officer at the state health department.

However, when contacted, the officer said he was not in charge of the registration and referred him to yet another officer.

“This other officer also said she was not the right person to talk to. She suggested I call the MMA. By now, I am so angry that I have decided to call The Star for help,” he said.

Dr Balachandran said the ministry should have the proper procedure spelt out and ensure that the relevant departments were informed.

“How many other doctors out there have endured the trouble I went through and have just given up trying?” he asked.

In Petaling Jaya, MMA president Datuk Dr N. Arumugam said many private doctors were willing to offer their services but there must be a definite system for them to do so.

“I personally don’t know who the officer in charge of this is.

“We are still waiting for official information from the ministry on how private doctors can volunteer their services,” he said when contacted on Monday.

Dr Arumugam said many doctors had tried calling for further information but did not know who to talk to.

“People are not going to go out of their way to find out how they can volunteer,” he added.

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