It’s been one and a half month since I last updated my blog. As I wrote in my last post, I was going for a long holiday after an hectic year dealing with IRB. Coming back from a long holiday is the worst nightmare. Clinic was packed to the brim, multiple medical reports to write and multiple reply letters to type. Then came Christmas, New Year and finally my hospitals MSQH audit which just ended today! Phew………
Unfortunately, doctors were in the limelight for the wrong reasons towards the end of last year and the beginning of this year. A daring expose by Al-Jazeera regarding baby selling syndicate in Malaysia on 24/11/2016 was a disaster for doctors. The faces of many doctors involved were clearly shown. Unfortunately this is nothing new. Many years ago, a similar syndicate was exposed and caught in Johor. The police acted swiftly and did manage to arrest few of the members of the syndicate that was exposed by Al Jazeera.
Just when we thought it was already damaging enough, came another exclusive expose from NST. Doctors venturing into unethical practices of cosmetic products. Frankly, this is nothing new as well. I have seen enough doctors practising what was exposed by the report. Injecting IV Vit C for whitening/anti ageing and many more so called aesthetic practices are common nowadays. In 2012, MOH (tr-vitamin-c-injection) had already issued statement that there is NO evidence that IV Vit C has any benefit. In fact, ViT C is NOT approved by MOH for intravenous injections for cosmetic reasons. Anyone found doing it can be charged for unethical practice. Ozone therapy is another major complimentary medicine practise that doctors are widely involved. Way back in 2011, MMC had already issued a statement that ozone therapy do not provide any health benefit and any doctors found guilty of providing ozone therapy by claiming that it can cure diseases, can be charged for unethical practices. Unfortunately it did not prevent many doctors from doing it. In fact I even know nurses who are openly promoting such centres on Facebook and showing many VIPs who are taking their ozone treatment. Again, on 3/01/2017, our DG issued another press statement regarding ozone therapy. The press statement came after NST reported that many celebrities who were openly promoting ozone therapy for advertisement purposes expressed their regrets. I have heard of reports of people dying during the procedure and even developing cardiac and renal failure. It is not a procedure without complications.
The question is, why are doctors venturing into such practices? The answer is simple : money and survival! Since I started blogging in 2010, I had written several times regarding these issues. In fact in 2012, I wrote on how desperate have doctors become. That is the reality out there. No matter what passion that you talk about before going into medicine, at the end of the day, it all boils down to money and survival. There is no such thing as easy money or easy life in medicine. Many doctors especially GPs are struggling to survive. Thus, to keep their income and their clinic running, they venture into these unethical businesses.
I get a lot of query regarding aesthetic medicine etc. My reply has always been to ask yourself why you became a doctor! Is it to treat and cure people with sickness or to become a glorified beautician! Yes, there is a lot of money in aesthetic medicine. There are huge financial backup from big suppliers all over the world. Cosmetic and aesthetic suppliers are one of the largest companies in the world. The companies need doctors as doctors are the only people licensed to inject substance into a person! At the end, no doctor will do it if not paid well!
The situation will only get worst. My last article talked about the introduction of contract HO post with no guarantee of a permanent post. I had mentioned that those who do not get a permanent post will end up flooding the GP market. Imagine what will happen then. Issues mentioned above will only get worst day by day, in the name of survival. WE have to blame ourselves for loosing the respect and trust once given by the public. Worst still, many of these young doctors would have huge amount of debts to pay! As I had always said, never take huge loans to do medicine!
Well, it did not end there. Just when 2016 was coming to an end, 2 cases of botched circumcision were reported. Interestingly, the first clinic was reported as not having a license to run! Interesting indeed if the report was true.
On the other end, MMC has now started their own qualification exam for those from unrecognised universities. It is now known as EPR (Exam for Provisional Registration). Is this a prelude for a common entry exam? Only time will tell………. As the years pass by, almost everything I predicted is becoming a reality. God save this country……