Saturday, June 24, 2006

Only three prisons with qualified docs

Star: KUANTAN: Only three prisons in the country have qualified medical doctors to attend to detainees, Deputy Internal Security Minister Datuk Fu Ah Kiow said.
He said 31 others under the Prisons Department only had one medical assistant each.
“Only the Sungai Buloh, the Kajang male and the Kajang female prisons have one doctor each,” he told reporters after presenting excellent service awards to 104 prison staff members yesterday.
On top of that, Fu said there was still a shortage of medical assistants in 24 other institutions, including the Henry Gurney Schools, detention centres and drug rehabilitation centres.
“If the detainees are seriously sick, they will have to be sent to a government hospital as medical assistants are not qualified doctors,” he said.
Fu said this arrangement created manpower and logistic problems.
He said the department had submitted a proposal to the Government to appoint panel doctors from the private sector in their locality.
“The doctors can be put on call and we can seek their help during emergencies,” he said.
Fu said the Health Ministry and Finance Ministry wanted more details on the proposal.
On overcrowding in the prisons, Fu said 51% of inmates were those who had been convicted while 28% were those under remand.
He hoped the courts would speed up proceedings, especially those involving illegal immigrants.

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