Materia Medica Malaysiana

June 11, 2008

Errant doctors face action

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 6:35 pm

NST: KUALA LUMPUR: Private doctors caught abusing their supply of psychotropic substances are to face stricter disciplinary action, including a future ban on handling such items.
These are among the recommendations proposed by the Health Ministry to stop the abuse of psychotropic substances by private doctors.
Director-General of Health Tan Sri Dr Ismail Merican said strict controls had to be imposed to curb the abuse of psychotropic substances among unethical registered private doctors.
Since 2006, he said, the ministry had implemented an audit diversion programme to deal with the problem. The audit involved 122 private medical clinics in 2006 and 108 in 2007.
In 2006, he said, 19 private doctors or 15 per cent of the premises which were audited were investigated for various offences under the Third Schedule of the Poisons Act 1952 and regulated according to the Poisons Regulations (Psychotropic Substances) 1989.
Last year, 31 doctors or 29 per cent of the premises were investigated.
“Most of the offences relate to the failure to maintain the psychotropic substances’ prescription register as stipulated,” he said.
Registered medical practitioners are empowered to handle psychotropic substances as provided for under Regulation 3 of the Poisons Regulations (Psychotropic Substances) 1989.
To overcome the problem of abuse, he said the ministry was proposing the following recommendations to the government:
– Impose the Prohibitory Order which prohibits registered medical practitioners involved in the abuse of psychotropic substances from handling these substances, according to Regulation 29, Poisons Regulations;
– Grant special authorisation to private medical practitioners who wish to supply methadone and buprenorphine to curb problems relating to the abuse of psychotropic substances in drug substitution therapy using methadone and buprenorphine; and,
– The Malaysian Medical Council to impose stricter disciplinary action.

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