Monday, July 03, 2006

Start surfing, doctors told

NST: GEORGE TOWN: Some doctors in government hospitals are not keeping up with developments in the medical world, Health Ministry director-general Tan Sri Dr Ismail Merican said here yesterday.
"In fact, they continue to practise and apply what they learned more than 20 years ago in today’s modern setting," he said.
Dr Ismail said there was a time when Malaysia could not produce the Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPGs) which gave the medical professionals clear and objective benchmarks against which they could measure the benefits of treatment.
"Today, we have more than 30 CPGs which are easily accessible and can be downloaded from the Internet," he said.
"Even so, I have come across some who are simply not bothered to surf the Internet for the latest updates in the medical world.
"We cannot have a situation where our patients know more than the doctors ... that won’t do. I have to protect the image of the medical fraternity," he said.
"This is certainly a cause of concern for the ministry as well as the Malaysian Medical Council."
Dr Ismail was speaking at a Press conference after the launch of Malaysia’s first Clin ical Practice Guidelines for management of ischaemic stroke.
The guidelines, endorsed by the Malaysian Society of Neurosciences, represent the most recent developments and strategies based on studies and guidelines from around the world.
Present were MSN president Associate Professor Goh Khean Jin and CPG Development Group chairperson Dr Julia Shahnaz Merican.
Dr Ismail, who is also MMC president, said the relevant authority was looking into the possibility of conducting an audit among doctors to see how many adhered to guidelines provided under the CPGs.
He said an initial study showed that younger doctors adhered to CPGs more than senior practitioners.
Earlier in his speech, Dr Ismail said Malaysia was in dire need of neurologists and neurosurgeons.
The country now has 47 neurologists, 41 neurosurgeons and five rehabilitative specialists.
For this year alone, there is a need for 269 neurologists and 123 neurosurgeons.
Dr Ismail said stroke was the country’s leading cause of morbidity and the fourth leading cause of death after septicaemia, heart disease and cancer.
It is estimated that the incidence of stroke is about two cases among every 1,000 people.

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