Materia Medica Malaysiana

July 5, 2007

Quicker response to public healthcare complaints

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 9:55 am

Star: KUALA LUMPUR: Complaints from the public against government healthcare facilities will be heard and dealt with swiftly.
This assurance from the Health Ministry comes following several improvements made to its complaints and medico-legal management mechanism that now provides a comfortable and easy way for patients and their families to air their grouses.
Ministry parliamentary secretary Datuk Lee Kah Choon said that patient relation officers (PRO) had been appointed in 133 government hospitals nationwide and other healthcare facilities to record, discuss and explain any grouses brought up by a complainant.
“If a complainant is still unsatisfied, the problem will be taken up to the hospital director.
“Should the matter remain unresolved, the hospital director would then need to convene the Hospital Grievance Committee (HGC) immediately and hold an internal inquiry.
“An Independent Inquiry Committee (IIC) would then be formed should there be any medico-legal implications,” said Lee.
He added that a community representative, who is either a member of the Hospital Visiting Board, a state assemblyman or MP, would also be involved during investigations by the HGC or IIC.
Lee described the community representative’s involvement as an assurance that investigations would be carried with transparency and fairness.
“The presence of a community representative will also help remove any suspicion or fear of bias in the management of any complaint or medico-legal case,” he said, after conducting a briefing on the issue in Parliament yesterday.
During a conference, Lee said that 40 million people visited government medical facilities every year and that it was a tremendous burden for the Ministry.
He said the country was understaffed and needed more manpower to cope with the huge number of patients and their grouses.
“In the last six years, we settled more than 50 cases totalling RM3.5mil in compensation. From January to March this year, we received 53 complaints from the public and are working swiftly to resolve them,” he said.

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