Archive for the ‘todayhealth’ Category

Reaction towards Datuk T.Murugiah over compulsory public service for doctors

January 27, 2010

Govt may extend compulsory public service for doctors

PUTRAJAYA: The Government proposes to extend the compulsory public service for doctors to five or 10 years from the current three to overcome the annual shortage of doctors in its hospitals, Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Senator Datuk T. Murugiah said Wednesday.

“Doctors should not only think about profit. They also have to think about the country’s interests — your contribution to the country,” he said.

taken from theStar

Datuk T. Murugiah is proposing a proposal which could see more doctors flying and migrating away from Malaysia. Imagine all the hard working hours and over(when i say over, it means too much) times and ridiculous treatment by the senior doctors.

Instead saying something which could make you win another term in the government office and lose more doctors to private sectors and to other countries (who pay and treat them better), why don’t you start to contribute to the country instead of chasing the big bucks for yourself!

You know the problem. Don’t solve a problem by making more problems. I give you a hint. We are humans, and humans love 3 things.

1. Money, 2. Sexual partner, 3. High positions

I ask you Datuk T. Murugiah. Would you sacrifice your position now and work long hours like any other labour? Would you want to spend less time with your wife(or affairs?) and family than it already is to work the job that giving you emotional stress and spending too much time with other strangers loved ones than your own? Would you settle for the Ringgits that you have right now, or would you run towards the windows which are always open for a better life not just for you, but also for your family.

Laws are meant to be broken, T. Murugiah. If this door closed, there are always other ones opened. It’s your move, just make sure you dont ‘check-mate’ at the wrong decision.

Please think of other proposals, pick the one that is best for all, not just for you to save you another term in that office of yours, okay?

Malaysia don’t have many doctors? You may lose more!


Malaysia: Your Medical Destination

January 6, 2009


Thinking about moving into a country far away from your native homeland? Perhaps that thought has come across your mind for quite some time already. However, you are concerned with a lot of things. From adjustments to health care concerns, every detail has to be carefully scrutinized so that when the time comes that you are already prepared to move, you will not have to worry much even the littlest of details.

Moving to Malaysia is never a hassle, as far as the health care issue is concerned. Why is this so? Considered as the world’s sanctuary of health destination, Malaysia boasts of its high-end hospitals that provide the best services.

Malaysia is a Southeast Asian country with thirteen states and consisting of two different geographical regions that are divided by South China Sea. The rapid growing economy of Malaysia made a distinction, thus the nation is considered as the Asian Dragon.

Malaysia has diversified societies that pervade all throughout its whole regions. Chinese, Indians, and Malays constitute the whole social establishments. The country also has interesting fusions of interesting customs and vibrant cultures because of these diverse societies.

Health Care Systems of Malaysia

Malaysia is fortunate to have a very comprehensive range of the health services. The Malaysian government is very much committed to its principles of a universal access to those high-quality health care in which the local Ministry of Health offers thru wide varieties of nationwide networks of clinics and hospitals. However, in spite of the dedication of the local government of Malaysia to provide the best possible health care, there are still some problems that are unsolved, and one of those is the unavailability of quality health care centers in remove areas. When patients are transferred from a specific health center to a more probable hospital, doing so not only incurs some inconveniences on the part of the patient and the family, but also adds costs to the health care systems. In order to deal with the issue, a tool has been designed called the tele-primary care. This method helps the doctors on remote areas to discuss problem cases by tele-consultations with specialists and doctors on hospitals.

The Evolution of Healthcare in Malaysia

The health care in Malaysia has notably undergone some radical transformations. The earliest pre-colonial medical cares were confined mostly on those traditional remedies that are evident today on local Chinese, Malays, and some other ethnic group populations. However, with the birth of colonialism, more modern and westernized medical practices are then slowly introduced to this country. Since its independence way back August of 1957, the different systems of medical care were then transferred from British colonial rules to meet the growing needs of proper health care in Malaysia.

At present, Malaysia is divided into two sectors—the public sectors and the private sectors. Doctor are generally required to render three years of serving in public hospitals throughout the whole nation, making it a point to provide adequate coverage of the medical needs of the general population. Foreign doctors are also encouraged to share their expertise in Malaysia.

Over the years, Malaysia has been continuously vigilant about their health care system. For emigrants who are planning to stay in Malaysia, the health care system of this Asian Dragon is one thing to be worried about. The presence of so many medical schools in this nation is enough to attest that Malaysia is really serious with their aim in providing quality health care not only to its residents but to its tourists, emigrants, and visitors as well.

Some Medical Issues in Malaysia

Very common among Asian countries are over-prescription of some doctors who think of nothing but how to gain much money from their patients. This particular is actually very rampant not only in Malaysia, but also in some neighbouring Asian countries. Although there are some reductions of over-prescription cases, the problem still remains up to this day. Emigrants are warned about these issues as there are possibilities that they might come across with this. Additionally, problems about selling fake drugs have been recorded, according to major pharmaceutical firms in Malaysia but these problems have long been solved. Again, everybody should be cautious about it because safety and health are very important things.

The medical society of Malaysia also recommends all travellers, tourists, emigrants, and the likes to visit their personal physicians or travel health clinics at least four to eight weeks prior to departure. Vaccinations on the following possible medical problems should be properly done:

* Hepatitis- recommended for all the travellers
* Typhoid- recommended for the travellers who may drink or eat outside major hotels and restaurants
* Yellow Fever- required for every traveller that is more than a year old of age upon arrival. Not recommended otherwise.
* Japanese Encephalitis- for long term traveller on rural areas, or those who may possibly be engaged in unprotected and extensive outdoor activities on rural areas.
* Hepatitis B- for travellers who are possible for direct contacts with local residents. This is very important especially if the visit is more than six months.

Malaysia: Your Health Destination

Malaysia is also considered as a one stop destination not only for tourism -associated needs but also for medical–related concerns. These concerns include cardiology, dentistry, gastroenterology, screenings, general surgery, orthopaedics, ophthalmology, and plastic surgery.

Hospitals in Malaysia are considerably the best, with the latest medical equipments providing optimum performance. Along with those well-equipped hospitals, Malaysia also has the best medical practitioners who have earned their degrees in various medical schools and top universities in schools in the US.

Before you finally decide on moving to Malaysia, make it a point that you have carefully studied every possible aspect. Take time to browse over the Internet and read not only about the health care systems of Malaysia, but also the whole of Malaysia itself, meaning the history, cultural background, the geography, the people, and some other important facts about the nation. This is one way of getting acquainted to the place you are moving into, even before you are already there.

Organ donation: the gift of life

December 28, 2008


Organ donation: the gift of life

Today more than 9,000 people in the Malaysia need an organ transplant that could save or dramatically improve their life. Most are waiting for a kidney, others for a heart, lung or liver transplant. But less than 1,000 transplants are carried out each year.
Transplants are one of the most miraculous achievements of modern medicine. But they depend entirely on the generosity of donors and their families who are willing to make this life-saving gift to others.

Desperate need for more donors

There is a desperate need for more donors. Last year more than 400 people died while waiting for a transplant. One in ten people waiting for a heart transplant will die and many others will lose their lives before they even get on to the waiting list.
The more people who pledge to donate their organs after their death, the more people stand to benefit. By choosing to join the National Donor Registry you could help make sure life goes on.

Organ Donor Line

If you’ve not signed up to the National Donor Registry, you can do so on the website or by calling the National Donor Registry Line: 03-2615-5555 ext 6576 (Hospital KL) or 03-26942705.
Lines open: 24 hours, 365 days a year
Calls are charged at your contracted rate for local calls.

For pledge forms and more information, contact the National Transplant Resource Centre.

link: What you need to know about Organ Donation?

We Wish You A Merry Christmas

December 24, 2008


The most wonderful Christmas gift anyone can give is the gift of a life.  Most of us, however, do not have the blood bank on our list of shopping venues. That’s not surprising because the thought of illness and operations does not fit in with our idea of the festive season.  We prefer to blank our minds to thought of horrific road crashes too. Yet illness can happen to anyone and road accidents occur whatever time of year it is. So perhaps a very good thought for the festive season would be to visit that blood bank and be a blood donor. Perhaps because people are so busy enjoying themselves that Christmas is a time when blood is very urgently needed.
Do you carry a donor card? That’s another good thought not only for Christmas but for the whole year. It doesn’t cost you anything but those who benefit from a new organ actually benefit from life itself.
Christmas is the season of giving. What better time to give of yourself rather than from your wallet. Soup kitchens, old folk’s homes and hospitals all need volunteers so why not dish out that turkey and ham rather than eat it yourself? After all in volunteering it’s in the giving we receive.

Merry Christmas Everyone.

The Dilemma of Our Young Doctors

December 7, 2008


After completing a gruelling course, young doctors have another challenge to face – a demanding two-year housemanship where they rely on lots of coffee, cope with very little sleep and put up with public chastisements.

SHE had always wanted to be a doctor but six months into her housemanship, she snapped and just couldn’t take the stress anymore.

*Kavitha found the workload and endless hours on call a real burden, sapping her energy and spirit. Today, says her concerned father *Gurdave, she is close to having a nervous breakdown and is seeing a psychiatrist for counselling.

“The work load was too heavy and the hours too long. When she was on call, she sometimes had to work for up to 36 hours straight. She wants to be transferred to another hospital but every hospital is just as bad.

“But I don’t want her to walk away from the profession. I have spent close to RM400,000 on her education. I don’t want anything back but just for her to get through this,” says Gurdave.

Unfortunately, housemanship is taking its toll on many young doctors like Kavitha. Statistically, she is one of at least five housemen a month who is found to be suffering from mental illness.

Health Ministry director-general Tan Sri Dr Ismail Merican revealed last week that many of the medical graduates are unable to cope with their housemanship.

“The mental cases range from psychotic to neurotic. Psychotic cases include delusions and hallucinations, and neurotic behaviour includes anxiety, fear and anger due to the competitive environment.’’

On-call system

The term houseman refers to an advanced student or graduate in medicine gaining supervised practical experience. In Malaysia, it is compulsory for doctors to undergo housemanship for two years after completing their medical degree. During housemanship, they are rotated among six departments – emergency department, medical, paediatric, general surgery, orthopaedic, and obstetrics and gynaecology – where they are attached to for four months each.

Over the years, those undergoing housemanship have been voicing their unhappiness but these complaints have generally fallen on deaf ears. The biggest grouse housemen have seems to be the on-call system, where they are sometimes subjected to work 36 hours at a stretch.

*Pedro, who is into his sixth month of housemanship, says he has on occasion worked 38 hours straight with only one hour rest in-between.

“In some hospitals, the patient load is non-stop as they have to accept referrals from other hospitals,” says Pedro, adding that this is more apparent at hospitals in Johor Baru and Klang which are the busiest in the country.

Housemen are provided facilities such as beds and they can sleep if they have no cases to attend to. However, this is rarely the case and the most sleep they get is about two to three hours. And that is only when the housemen take turns to sleep, says *Lalitha whose housemanship stint ended recently.

“We force ourselves to carry on. What keeps us going is coffee and tea. It is only after we are no longer on call that we can go back and crash until the next day,” she says. Depending on the department and the hospital they are serving in, housemen could be on-call for up to 15 days a month. Lalitha says that during her first posting, she would work from 6am to midnight every day.

“We go home, have a bath and sleep for five hours before the cycle is repeated. They are preparing us for the on-call,” she says.

Shortage of doctors

Dr Kuljit Singh, president of the Malaysian Society of Otorhinolaryngology and Head Neck Surgeons (MSO- HNS), believes that one factor that can cause high pressure for trainee doctors is the shortage of doctors at some hospitals.

“Some hospitals have a lower doctor to patient ratio, so the housemen, being the lowest category in the medical fraternity, have to take on a lot of the work and responsibility, especially the lousy tasks, in the name of training,” he says.

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre (PPUKM) dean and director Prof Datuk Dr Lokman Saim agrees, saying that pressure from their heavy workload can push some doctors to the brink of breaking down.

“It is normal for a doctor to be on duty for more than 36 hours with on-call duties. In Europe, this has been recognised as a problem and they have passed a law to state that doctors cannot work more than 12 hours straight. Maybe we need laws like that if we want to improve our doctors’ welfare,” he opines.

Under the European Working Time Directive in 2004, junior doctors can work no more than 56 hours a week. They can work up to 13 hours a day but then have to have an 11-hour break.

Acknowledging that the number of doctors in Malaysia may still be too low for such a ruling, Dr Lokman nevertheless thinks it is a possible solution for the future.

Dr Lokman thinks that the problem of housemen suffering from mental problems can be prevented at the entry point of the profession.

“Currently, for public universities, students are selected by the Higher Education Ministry based on their exam results and co-curriculum activities. No interviews are conducted, so there is no way for the individual medical schools to assess their attitude and character. If we get the right candidates for the programme, we can be sure of the doctors we produce,” he argues.

However, he admits that it is not a foolproof method but he believes that it will help weed out the obviously unsuitable candidates.

“Many students are forced by their parents to take up medicine and these students end up very stressed because the course is difficult and they are not motivated. It will help us ascertain if a candidate has the right attitude and disposition to be a doctor,” he adds.

He highlights that a majority of students who fail and drop out of medicine are those who are forced by their parents into the field.


But for those who successfully completed their degree, the challenge is dealing with the hospital environment.

They may have to contend with a handful of senior medical officers with the “Napoleon” complex who make the lives of the housemen difficult, says Dr Kuljit Singh who had served in government hospitals before branching out into private service.

“There is sometimes an element of bullying and high-handedness in the way some senior medical officers and consultants treat their junior house officers. They become Little Napoleons and are dictatorial. They say they went through the same regiment and that made them good doctors, so the newbies need to go through the same process,” says Dr Kuljit.

A senior doctor in the Johor Baru hospital, *Zul is also not happy with the treatment dished out to housemen.

“I have seen the degrading treatment given to medical officers, even after they have finished their housemanship,” he says. Zul himself was a houseman in the same hospital a few years ago and he says nothing has changed.

“If they talk about your work then it’s all right, but then they go into character assassination,” he says.

The housemen are usually screamed at by their specialists in the wards and in the clinics, he adds.

“The words used in front of patients are sometimes so degrading that in my opinion, it is these specialists who are the ones suffering from ‘mental woes’,” says Zul.

Those who fought back would be referred to the head of department who would either try to rectify the situation or extend the posting of the houseman, adds Zul.

A few of the housemen say there have been times when they were threatened with extensions in the department by medical officers.

Zul says that three of his friends quit the medical profession during their housemanship, with one of them ending up as a housewife.

“One of them would get anxiety attacks whenever she came to the ward. The thing is she was an excellent student,” says Zul.

*Maniam was barely a week into his housemanship when a specialist yelled at him in front of a patient.

“He asked me if I paid to pass my exams and also said I was the worst doctor he had ever come across. How can he say such a thing when I was there for only a week? They tend to look down on us as if we don’t know anything,” says Maniam.

However, Dr Kuljit, who taught at Universiti Malaya, shares that many students today are more pampered and have led a sheltered life, and thus cannot stand the pressure. Many come from a protected family environment, so when they are reprimanded, they get stressed and depressed. He believes that medical schools need to instil more soft skills, particularly interpersonal skills, in their students.

“We have many top scorers taking up medicine but many of them lack people skills. These students can manage with their studies but when they start working, they don’t know how to deal with their superiors, especially when they get scolded by them,” he says.

Pedro, on the other hand, does not have problems with any of the senior doctors he has to work with and says they are gems.

“I have no complaints because they teach us a lot. They offer us the opportunity to learn complicated procedures. They are willing to teach you even if there are possible complications. Even the specialists take time to teach you,” he adds.

President of the Malaysian Medical Association Datuk Khoo Kar Lin is unsure about the cause of mental problems faced by the doctors although he says the finding by the Health Ministry is a concern. He says a survey should be done on housemen to find out the causes.

“We have not received any complaints (about housemanship). I went through the system myself and from my impression it is not different from say 30 years ago. They are not being more overworked than yesterday,” says Khoo, adding that he enjoyed his housemanship.

“Every profession will have its challenges. We have to be cautious because people will always think that they are victimised and work longer hours compared to others,” adds Khoo.

President of the Malaysian Mental Health Association Datin Dr Ang Kim Teng says that housemanship could be a contributing factor to mental problems.

“It is not the job that causes it but the underlying susceptibility. Some people are more prone to this and the job stress could be a triggering factor. Factory workers, policemen and teachers can also face the same problem.

“It all depends on the individual’s ability to cope with stress. A lot of housemen go through their stints without any problems,” says Dr Ang.

Lalitha enjoyed her housemanship despite the many challenges in the different departments.

“We know this awaits us in the field. When I first started, I asked myself what I was doing here. The doctors pick on your mistakes and are not bothered if you have enough rest,” says Lalitha who got used to housemanship by her third posting.

She believes adaptation is the hardest and those who studied in foreign universities may have it tougher as they may not understand some of the terms used.

For *Tan, her social life took the backstage and she had to cut down on spending time with her family and friends.

“Those were the times when I thought of quitting but the feeling passed very quickly,” she says.

Tan didn’t really encounter any problems with the staff but has friends who have had books thrown at them and senior staff nurses giving them a hard time.

“At the end of the day, I am satisfied that I have somehow made a difference in a patient’s life. I don’t have any regrets getting into this line,” she says.

For Pedro, the only time he feels discouraged is when he has to get up at 5.30am for work.

“Once you get there it’s over in a snap,” he shares, adding that he feels really good when patients come out of life-threatening situations.

Pedro also says with all the running around they have to do, housemanship is the best weight loss programme.

“I can now fit into pants which I wore in Form Five!” he quips.

Prevention at entry

Dr Lokman Saim thinks that the problem can be prevented at the entry point of the profession, which is the medical course.

“Currently, for the public university, students are selected by the Higher Education Ministry based on their exam results and co-curriculum activities.

“No interviews are conducted, so there is no way for the individual medical schools to asses their attitude and character. If we get the right candidates for the programme, we can be sure of the doctors we produce,” Dr Lokman argues.

He admits that it is not a foolproof method but he believes that it will help.

“Many students are forced by their parents to take up medicine and these students end up very stressed because the course is difficult and they are not motivated. It will help us ascertain if a candidate has the right attitude and disposition to be a doctor,” he adds.

He highlights that the majority of students who fail and drop out of medicine are those who are forced by their parents into the field.

* Names have been changed to protect identities

Original title: Young docs walk a tightrope

Doctors’ choice: Anwar is the best patient

July 6, 2008

Five surgeons are discussing who makes the best patients on the
operating table.

The first surgeon says, “I like to see accountants on my operating
table, because when you open them up, everything inside is numbered.”

The second responds, “Yeah, but you should try electricians! Everything
inside them is color coded.”

The third surgeon says, “No, I really think librarians are the best, everything
inside them is in alphabetical order.”

The fourth surgeon chimes in, “You know, I like construction workers, those
guys always understand when you have a few parts left over at the end, and
when the job takes longer than you said it would.”

But the fifth surgeon shut them all up when he observed, “You’re all wrong.
Politicians are the easiest to operate on. There’s no guts, no heart, and no
spine, and the head and ass are interchangeable.”

ps- don’t easily get fooled by our politicians. todayMalaysia strongly don’t recommend malaysians to join in protesting today. don’t say we didn’t say so.

The jewels of our nation, laughter is simply the best medicine

June 28, 2008

A lecturer teaching medicine was giving a class on ‘Observation’. He took out a jar of yellow-colored liquid.

“This”, he explained,”is urine. To be a good doctor, you have to be observant to color, smell, sight and taste.” After saying this, he dipped his finger into the jar and put it into his mouth.

His class watched on in amazement, most, in disgust. But being the students that they were, the jar was passed, and one by one, they dipped one finger into the jar and then put it into their mouth.

After the last student was done, the lecturer shook his head. “If any of you had been observant, you would have noticed that I put my 2nd finger into the jar and my 3rd finger into my mouth.”

ps- Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) medical faculty will be able to increase its students’ intake by more than 100 percent in the year 2011. Presently, the faculty can accept some 70 students per intake each year, but they will be able to raise this total to 150 students per intake once UMS’ RM259 million medical faculty development project is complete in three years’ time.

Health Ministry Drawing Better Scheme Of Service For Doctors

May 31, 2008

The Health Ministry is drawing up a better scheme of service and remuneration to retain doctors in the government service and to check the “brain drain” to the private sector.

Health Minister Datuk Liow Tiong Lai said an average of 300 doctors and 50 specialists on grades UD41, UD44 and UD48 resigned from the government service every year, citing unsatisfactory salary, heavy workload and unhappy with working environment.

“The ministry is fully aware of the doctors’ shortage and the “brain drain” to the private sector. I assure you that we are not keeping still about this.

“For example, the issue on allowances for specialists and better promotion prospects for them are being seriously studied by the ministry and a decision is expected soon.

“I assure you the ministry will announce the good news soon,” he said at the 48th Malaysia Medical Association annual dinner.

Liow said the ministry recommended that allowances for specialists be reviewed as an incentive to doctors to remain in the public sector.

It was also proposed that the revision of the allowance should cover related disciplines such as dental and public health.

The last review was about 20 years ago.

To woo more doctors to serve in the remote areas in Sabah and Sarawak, Liow said Health Services director-general Tan Sri Dr Ismail Merican was looking into the hardship allowance for doctors serving in the interior.

Liow said the ministry was also working closely with Sarawak state government to review existing regulations to allow doctors from Peninsular Malaysia to set up their private practice in the state.

“My first task is to convey the Malaysian Medical Association’s concerns that Peninsular Malaysia doctors be allowed to work freely in Sarawak.

“We hope the close collaboration between the ministry and the state government will resolve the problem as soon as possible,” he said.

Liow also said the ministry was negotiating with the Public Service Department for a better scheme of service for junior doctors.

“A house officer who has completed two years training and has undergone the mandatory induction course and related requirements will be automatically promoted from UD41 to UD 44 in the third year of their career.

“At the same time, the welfare of the current UD41 medical officers appointed before 2008 will also not be forgotten.

They will benefit through appropriate adjustments to their grades,” he said.