Materia Medica Malaysiana

November 12, 2007

‘Lack of human warmth’ behind negligence cases

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 11:52 am

Star: MUAR: The commercialisation of medical care has produced doctors and nurses who are impersonal to patients and this will lead to negligence, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek said yesterday.
The lack of human warmth in dispensing medical care was due to the shortage of doctors, nurses and supporting officers and also the over-reliance on machines, he added.
“The medical officers and staff depend more on machines for diagnosis and this affects their attitude towards their patients,” he said after a seminar at the Johor MCA Public Service and Complaints Bureau here.
Dr Chua said universities offering medical courses should look into the issue immediately and put greater emphasis on courses concerning the doctor-patient relationship.
He was commenting on a New Sunday Times report on medical negligence in the country’s healthcare industry.
Health Ministry statistics show that four out of every 10 negligence cases are from the field of obstetrics and gynaecology.
Second in the medical field with the most negligence suits is orthopaedics (18 per cent), followed by medical (13), surgery (11), paediatrics (7) and others (10).
From 2000 to 2006, 61 negligence cases involving government healthcare providers, mainly doctors, have been settled in and out of court.
Dr Chua said an independent body comprising professionals and local leaders had been set up to investigate errors which resulted in death and promised that there would be no cover-up by his ministry.
“A mechanism is also present for patients to make complaints,” he added.

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