The state of affairs of Malaysia’s health sector has been at the back of my mind over the years ….. especially if one was to observe the “re-allocation” of resources to the more lucrative sector of “private health”.

This was quite aptly described by Dr Toh Kin Woon in his Edge Weekly article (16 March 2009) when he said that 75% of medical specialists are in private hospitals whilst 75% of the population seek treatment in the public hospitals! (Again, I would appeal to papers like Malaysiakini to highlight such matters in their reports or editorials.)

Situations like these will invariably lead to a mis-match of sorts – what with the private hospitals charging “exorbitant” fees for everything under the sky …. presumably to cover overheads whilst the public hospitals would experience long queues of patients seeking “limited consultation” with the overstretched and limited number of specialists!

Dr Toh describes that the situation has become so desperate that he knows of patients having to borrow monies so that they could be treated in the private hospitals. It becomes such a vicious cycle that it just cannot go on indefinitely.

I am without doubt that the “Health Predicament” was one of the key reasons for the voter back-lash against the Barisan Nasional government in the last General Elections in March 2008. It was just unfortunate that Chua Soi Lek, as Health Minister then, appeared to have had a finger on the problem ….. but he subsequently “stuck it at the wrong place and at the wrong time”, and he’s now history!

Be that as it may, I am still not convinced of the standard of Malaysian private hospitals. I have heard so many horror stories that I thought it opportune to reveal one that really happened based on documents made available to me ……. :-

Patient A was wheeled into the emergency ward of Assunta Hospital due to hard of breathing. An x-ray on patient’s chest was taken and the doctor said the chest was “clouded”. He got the patient admitted and the specialist summoned.

Specialist decided to take a biopsy by inserting a needle at the side of the patient’s body. Sample taken to the lab. Subsequently lab report indicated that patient was suffering from “Broncho Alveolar Tumour” i.e. cancer!

A second opinion was sought from Subang Jaya Medical Centre. SJMC concurred with Assunta’s findings.

Patient’s family was advised to take the patient home and was also given morphine to “ease” the patient’s pain until death!

One of the patient’s relative was somehow not convinced of the findings. He somehow had a nagging feeling that the so-called specialists were so detached in their daily routine that they have lost touch with a profession that they are supposed to be specialists in!

The patient’s relative obtained the same biopsy sample taken from the patient and sent it to a Singapore hospital for another round of tests. After testing, the Singapore hospital sent the sample to the Mayo Clinic in the US of A for confirmation. And guess what? Both Singapore and Mayo came to the same conclusion (without even physically examining the patient): it was a severe form of pneumonia …… NOT cancer (tumour)!!

And the blinking Malaysian doctors had already “written off” the patient ….. !

Incompetency, negligence and greed has not only permeated into the corporate world that has caused the current economic crisis. It appears to have permeated into every strata of society including the medical profession ….. whose mantra, I believe, is to save lives ….. period.

Like most self regulating organisations, it’s about time the Malaysian Medical Council got off their high horses and start reining in their wild horses!!


4 Comments so far
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In the olden days many poor chinese young girls from the villages would go to work as maids for rich families in the towns.Many of these young girls were raped by their rich employers.
They are not bad girls.They are the victims of male sexual violence.They should not be condemned by society.All of us should try our best to support them emotionally.
At the same time during that era there are many chinese poor girls who entered the male entertainment line as bar hostess.They would try their best to have sex with rich male patrons to get out of the sex services line or make more money.Such girls would be condemened by everyone except the male patron himself.
All of you in MCA should look at CSL and Eli Wong in thsi light

Comment by phyliswee69

Last month I saw Chua SL.He had a very unhappy,very sad,very dejected and forlorn look on his face.In fact he looks exactly like the long faced Pink Panther scratching his head asking himself.
” I wonder why? I wonder how ?..I am in this position of being disliked by so many people “.What am I going to do for people to love me again?
I suggest he goes to see his former political foe Lee Lam Thye for guidance and advice.Lee was not in the good books of Dr.M before when he was in politics.But now Dr.M and everybody loves him for the good works that he had done for the society.Nobody will ever say a bad word against him anymore.
Chua can take some of the work load from Lee.He can champion the AIDS movement. He can also give counseling to men and women who have sex with people who are not their spouses.He can also counsel people against having premarital sex.He can counsel people about the dangers of sexually transmitted diseases and the use of condoms.
He will gain back the love and respect from the public soon.

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