Materia Medica Malaysiana

April 25, 2008

Docs can’t register ‘excessive’ number

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 9:16 am

Star: KUALA LUMPUR: It is unacceptable for doctors to register an “excessive” number of clinics under the Private Healthcare Facilities and Services Act.
“If you say you have got three clinics and you are at one clinic in the morning, another in the afternoon and another at night, it is reasonable. But you cannot register five or six or even 10 clinics. That is unacceptable. It is impossible,” Health Minister Datuk Liow Tiong Lai told reporters Thursday after launching World Glaucoma Day.
“We want to ensure that for every clinic, there is a doctor responsible for it.”
He was asked to comment on a Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) statement where president Datuk Dr Khoo Kah Lin warned private clinic doctors of legal action if they failed to register their establishments under the Act.
Dr Khoo had said more than 6,000 or 96% of doctors had already registered with the ministry.
Liow added that doctors should self regulate where the registration allowed them to practice and treat patients.
He also said the ministry was setting up a “structured” mechanism where the public could complain if they were charged exorbitant fees by private medical establishments.
The mechanism would be placed under the ministry’s medical practices division where investigations could be carried out swiftly.
Discussions would also be held with relevant parties such as the MMA and the Association of Private Hospitals of Malaysia.
On 66-year-old Malaysian, Tang Gon Seang, who is among more than a dozen people in a coma after eating star fruits in Shenzhen province in China, Liow said the ministry was waiting for a report from their Chinese counterparts.
In a bid to help to prevent eye diseases among Malaysians, Liow said ophthalmologists would visit rural areas more frequently to carry out checks on residents there.
The visits could range from weekly to monthly ones, he said.
He also asked for the more than 700 optometrists to help in carrying out eye checks, as the number of qualified ophthalmologists within the ministry was only about 140.
The leading cause of blindness in Malaysia was still cataracts while glaucoma caused 1.8% of the 78,000 blindness cases.
Among the risk factors for glaucoma are having family members who suffered from the disease, diabetes, high eye pressure or intraocular pressure, short sightedness, and prolonged and frequent usage of steroids. Those aged 45 years and above are also at risk.
Symptoms include blurred vision, red eye, problem focussing in darkness and loss of peripheral sight.

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