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MMA slams 1Malaysia clinics
By: by Meena L. Ramadas (The Sun, Tue, 22 Dec 2009)
PETALING JAYA (Dec 22, 2009) : The Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) has criticised the government’s decision to implement 1Malaysia clinics which are to be manned by medical assistants and nurses, calling it "wasteful" and "illegal".
"The MMA believes such clinics in urban areas would be redundant and shortchange the rakyat," its president Dr David K.L. Quek said in a statement today.
"Furthermore, getting unregistered medical doctors to man these clinics is also wrong and undermines the healthcare service which leads to a possible poorer standard of care," he said.
Quek said the employment of medical assistants and nurses to man clinics is against the Medical Act 1971 which prohibits medical assistants from prescribing “any more than some very simple medicines”.
Last week, Bernama quoted Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai as saying the clinics would be allowed to prescribe medicine for minor illnesses like fever, cough or minor cuts and could also handle referral cases.
A total of 50 1Malaysia community clinics will begin operation next month to provide basic health treatment for urban residents.
However, Quek said there are already many “under-utilised” general practitioner clinics.
He said there are many doctors in the country but they are poorly distributed.
"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.
“The standard of medical care should not be compromised."
Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak recently announced an allocation of RM10 million under Budget 2010 for the clinics.
As of today only the Sun newspaper and malaysiakini has published edited versions of our press release. Thus is the state of our press. When the issue raised appears to be too sensitive, they are deemed unworthy of being published and simply filed away in the dust-covered archives of 'lost' news.