Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Star: MMA: 1Malaysia community clinics a step backward

MMA: 1Malaysia community clinics a step backward

The Star, Thursday December 24, 2009

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) has ex­pressed grave concern over the set­­­t­ing up of the 1Malaysia community clinics as stipulated in Budget 2010.

It said the 50 clinics which were to be set up would be similar to those in Third World countries as they would be run by medical assistants and nurses.

“This in effect places their standards on the level of countries that have a scarcity of fully-registered physicians,” said MMA president Dr David K.L. Quek in a statement.

He said this was certainly a major step backwards for a progressive nation such as Malaysia.
Dr Quek said it was illegal for medical assistants or other unregistered medical practitioners to run a clinic under the Medical Act 1971.

“Furthermore, having them man these clinics undermines the healthcare service which will lead to possibly poorer standard of healthcare,” he said.

The policy, he added, also did not have sufficient input from stakeholders such as medical practitioners and even Health Ministry officials.

The clinics will begin operations next month to offer outpatient services like dressing for wounds as well as treatment for simple colds, coughs and headaches for urban residents.

Dr Quek said there were many “under-utilised” general practitioner clinics to cater for these needs.
“If the Government feels the 1Malaysia clinics have to be established, the least it could do is ensure these clinics are manned by registered medical doctors,” he said.

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