Materia Medica Malaysiana

May 28, 2008

Govt move to spread hospitals’ patient load

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 11:56 am

NST: KUALA LUMPUR: Patients with chronic diseases currently being treated at government hospitals may be referred to private clinics.
This is to cut down the patient load in public hospitals besides making it easier for them to obtain treatment nearer their homes.
Health Minister Datuk Liow Tiong Lai said this was only for those with problems like diabetes which needed regular consultation with a doctor.
“It is for those who need to see the doctor and get medication regularly,” he said after witnessing the signing of a Memorandum of Co-operation between Kojadi Institut and Ikram Skills and Retraining Company and ABS Consulting (M) Sdn Bhd.
He also launched a welding course for Kojadi.
Liow said the idea was still under study with the ministry working out a payment scheme for consultation and medication prescribed by the clinics.
It is learnt that the move, if implemented, would be financed by the National Healthcare Financing Scheme with co-operation from Pharmaniaga, a local healthcare company.
This is among ministry strategies to cope with an overload of patients and shortage of staff at public hospitals.
The doctor-patient ratio in Malaysia is 1:1,200 whereas the ideal position is 1:600.
“We have also started getting doctors from private clinics and hospitals to serve in government hospitals for a small fee,” Liow said.
Liow said the number of doctors doing this as “national service” had been encouraging with participants receiving RM80 per hour for their services.
The government is still finding ways to iron out kinks including insurance for participating doctors. A ministry source said the rates should attract doctors who earned an average of RM50 an hour as locums at private clinics.
Liow said he had issued a directive to government doctors to adopt “patient ownership” with one doctor responsible for an in-patient.
“We are starting off by putting names of doctors above patients’ beds. That way, patients can also be comforted knowing who their doctors are.”

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