Materia Medica Malaysiana

March 4, 2007

Patients have the right

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 10:26 am

Star: JOHOR BARU: Patients have the right to demand to see the annual practising certificate of doctors they visit, especially in private hospitals and clinics.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek said doctors were required by law to produce or even display such certificates in their premises.
He said the certificate was important to weed out people who tarnish the image of the medical profession by posing as doctors.
“Over the last two months, there have been two cases involving a female and a hospital attendant posing as doctors,” Dr Chua said.
The minister could not rule out the possibility that there might be other bogus doctors out there.
He assured the public that the Government would not tolerate such people and would take them to court.
Under the Private Healthcare Facilities and Services Act, those found guilty could be fined up to RM300,000 or jailed six years.
The Star had recently reported that a medical assistant at a government clinic in Johor Baru moonlighted as a “doctor”, earning about RM40 an hour as a locum in private clinics.
Asked whether there were many complaints, Dr Chua said: “The trouble is that there are no complaints. People are not aware that some doctors may be bogus as Malaysians are trusting people who will believe someone who hangs a stethoscope around them.”
On government doctors, he said that as locums were legalised, the doctors were supposed to inform their head of department about the clinic they worked in.
He assured the public that the ministry would start checking the 7,300-odd doctors from private hospitals and clinics.
“We have beefed up our enforcement unit with an additional 50 people who will now be dispatched to each district to verify whether those registered with us are actual doctors,” Dr Chua said.
He also said that the ministry would be checking on hospitals to determine whether they had Certificate of Fitness for Occupation (CFO) and whether their specialists were qualified.
Dr Chua was speaking to reporters after attending a Chinese New Year open house of Gelang Patah MP Tan Ah Eng here yesterday.
He said that under the Iskandar Development Region (IDR), Khazanah Nasional had proposed the setting up of two private hospitals.
“We fully support this move as there is a need for private hospitals, especially within the Johor Baru area.”
Asked whether there would be new government hospitals within the IDR, Dr Chua said so far there were no plans.
“I do not think rich people need to be subsidised by the Government,” he said.

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