Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Move to weed out bogus docs

Star: PETALING JAYA: Bogus doctors beware. The Health Ministry will have more eyes to weed out the impostors and ensure that they do not cheat the public.
Its director-general Tan Sri Dr Ismail Merican said an additional 69 officers have been requested for next year to beef up the present squad, which conducts raids nationwide on bogus doctors.
The strength of enforcement officers for clinics currently stands at 60 with 52 posts already filled up.
“The number of officers has been beefed up ever since the Private Healthcare Facilities and Services Act came into force. They have an additional role now,” Dr Ismail told The Star.
“We have done much more in the last year when it comes to action being taken against bogus doctors.”
Dr Ismail said that although surprise checks were conducted on clinics, the officers were also sent out based on public complaints.
“Of course, we do not bombard the clinics but raids are also based on tip-offs,” he added.
The public, he stressed, could play their part by reporting doctors to the ministry if they suspected something amiss besides helping the ministry to pinpoint those who could be guilty.
Dr Ismail said that among the signs they could look out for are: if the doctor seems hesitant to order an investigation to be done for a certain condition or seems uneasy to make a diagnosis.
“They can always demand for a doctor to produce their APC (annual practising certificate) and if the doctor cannot do that, they should be on the alert,” he added.
One of the most recent raids was on a clinic in Johor Baru, where a doctor who was believed to be unregistered and sold sleeping pills to drug users, was instead found to be holding a baby “hostage” after her parents failed to pay a RM985 bill.

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