Materia Medica Malaysiana

October 8, 2008

Kampung folk go to surgeons ‘as last resort’

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 2:29 pm

NST: KUALA LUMPUR: Many people prefer to refer their bone ailments to bomoh and sinseh rather than to orthopaedists.
This practice is especially noted in rural areas where such surgeons are almost non-existent.
Asean Orthopaedic Association president Dr Jamal Azmi Mohamad said they knew of this because orthopaedic surgeons had received numerous referrals from traditional medicine men.
“Instead of coming to us first, people in kampung and sometimes even the cities prefer to see these traditional medicine men,” he said at the 28th Asean Orthopaedic Association Congress and the 38th Malaysian Orthopaedic Association (MOA) annual general meeting and scientific meeting at a hotel here recently.
He said it was therefore crucial for the government to post more orthopaedists at rural hospitals.
Most of the 500 orthopaedic surgeons in the country are based in the Klang Valley.
MOA president Dr Robert Penafort suggested that sinseh and bomoh be regulated.
“Because they have no regulations governing them, they are free to do anything with their patients.
“When we get referrals from them, it was already too late for the patient, especially if they have cancer or a tumour,” Dr Penafort said.
“We hope the Health Ministry will take steps to regulate bomoh and sinseh because a lot of people prefer to go to them just because they are scared of going through operations, ” he said, adding that patients were also put off by the three- to six-month waiting period.

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