Materia Medica Malaysiana

July 16, 2007

Maintain professional distance while treating patients, docs told

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 8:21 am

Star: PETALING JAYA: Doctors must treat patients with competence, care and compassion and still keep a “professional distance”.
Issuing this reminder, Health Ministry director-general Tan Sri Dr Ismail Merican stressed that it was not appropriate at all for doctors to form any emotional bond with their patients, let alone have intimate relations with them.
“Patients (too) can be quite demanding once they have established a bond, so you (doctors) have to be very careful,” he said.
Last October, the Malaysian Medical Council (MMC) had suspended a doctor for six months after he was found guilty of abusing his professional privilege and skills by engaging in an emotional relationship with the daughter-in-law of a woman who was under his care.
Dr Ismail, who is also the council president, explained that such cases were not common.
The director-general said he was on a mission to encourage all in the profession to adopt the “competence, care and compassion” approach, adding that medical students should be trained this way.
“I think the change should start in universities. I have been invited to speak to students.”
Malaysian Medical Association president Datuk Dr Khoo Kah Lin concurred with Dr Ismail’s views.
“Of course, there are one or two black sheep but I am satisfied with the level of care given by doctors.”

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