Monday, June 26, 2006

Act not meant to punish doctors

Star: JOHOR BARU: The new Private Healthcare Facilities and Services Act is not designed to punish doctors, said Health Minister Datuk Dr Chua Soi Lek.
He said the Act was introduced to improve the quality of healthcare and related facilities.
Describing the Act as being “long awaited”, Dr Chua said that many countries already had such an Act to regulate the medical practice.
“We are the only ones without it,” he said, adding that doctors who practiced the right procedures and had good clinical practices would have no problems.
“Don’t focus on the punitive element of the Act. The punishments are only for those who do not abide by the regulations, not the majority of the doctors who are good,” said Dr Chua.
He said that the Act was important to regulate the practices of some doctors, particularly those who had been in service for decades and were still operating with outdated equipment.
He said that he received many complaints about doctors who changed the needles, but did not change the syringe after use even though it was disposable, while others reused their suture strings on the next patient after removing stitches on a patient.
He said that all complaints brought against medical practitioners would be investigated to ensure that both patients and doctors were protected.
Earlier in Putrajaya, Dr Chua said the Government would study the effectiveness of using graphic images on cigarette packs to shock smokers into giving up the habit.
“We want to know how effective this method is,” he said.
He was responding to calls for these images to be included in the Government’s Tak Nak campaign.

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