Well, Budget 2013 was announced last Friday and as I had mentioned last week, it is truly an election budget with a lot of goodies thrown all over the place. As I mentioned over here, more 1Malaysia clinics are going to be opened with extended care of screening services like cholesterol and blood sugar checks. It is good for the people but for the GPs, it is another nightmare! Who can beat the RM1 check and free service for senior citizens?
Now, coming back to the title above, it is not always a good news when your names appear in the newspaper. Few days ago, I received a comment in this blog accusing me of being unprofessional for exposing the unseen side of medical field. This guy who do not even know what a Rheumatologist do (other than giving painkillers!) seem to say that we should just keep quiet and just let the “unethical” fellows out there to continue cheating the public. I had written a reply to him for which he did not reply. From his comment, I can say that he is a young fellow who do not know much of what is going on. FYI, most of the cases that I brought up over here has been reported to the authorities but whether any action has been taken or not, I am not sure.
Today, MMC has announced few doctor’s name in the news. These doctors are being suspended or reprimanded. One of the person involved in a well-known figure who appears in almost all Malay newspapers, promoting his products which supposedly can reduce weight, treat diabetes etc. In fact, that was his main business and someone told me that he is now a millionaire ! Remember what I wrote over here? If MMC truly wants to take action against doctors doing this sort of promotions, I think many clinics will be closed down. Unfortunately, MMC only acts when someone complains to them as they do not have enough manpower for enforcement purposes. I was informed that under the amended Medical Act 2012, MMC will be given more authority and power for enforcement. Whether they will have their own enforcement team or not, remains to be seen.
Any action taken by MMC is done after multiple discussions and deliberation. It has to undergo various stages before the final decision is made. Some may take up to 1-2 years to be decided, as the cases above. You will be given opportunities to defend yourself by appointing a legal expert (your indemnity insurance lawyers). It is equivalent to a court enquiry. Once MMC makes the decision, it will be announced to the public in their bulletin as well as the newspaper. In Singapore, even your photo will be published in the news!! The more developed a country becomes, the more work the medical council has to do as the public will complain more. MMC has already announced that the number of complains they are receiving is increasing day by day. Same goes to the litigation rates. Most general hospitals in this country seem to be receiving legal letters on a monthly basis so much so, some hospitals had made it mandatory for specialist to see all new admission cases and review all cases over the weekend. Now, the MOs have become HOs and the specialists has become the MOs.
As I have written over here and here, the situation will only get tougher for doctors to survive. There is a saying now that you will be sued for at least once in your lifetime as a doctor. No matter what good deeds that you have done in your career, a small mistake can destroy your entire reputation and practice. For the doctors whose names are mentioned above ( not the first name!!), their misery will not end here. What are the other implications? I would leave the readers to ponder upon.
There are even cases where patients are suing doctors almost 5 years later!! I know an O&G friend of mine who is currently in private practise, being sued by a patient who he saw only once when he was “0n-call” in a government hospital then. The child turn out to have Cerebral Palsy due to some delivery complications. After 5 years, he and the government hospital is being sued for almost RM2.5 million!! One case like this is enough to cause you nightmares for months.That’s the reason why the government may soon make it mandatory all government doctors to take indemnity insurance to reduce the burden of the government. I heard indemnity insurance will be made compulsory to renew your APC, under the new Medical Act 2012.
These are the reasons why in developed countries, many of their citizens do not want to do medicine. Many doctors close shop as their income is not even enough to support the indemnity insurance. It is only in developing countries that people are still obsessed in becoming a doctor by hook or crook hoping to have good life, good money and good future. Well, things are changing and I hope everyone who are interested to do medicine will do it for pure passion, willing to work hard and sacrifice family life. This is the purpose of this blog; to educate the public, future students and doctors regarding the “unseen” life and challenges of a doctor. If you think you can’t handle it, then by all means, leave……………. so that you do not regret later……..
Despite writing so much in this blog since January 2010, I still have queries from medical students that sometimes make me wonder whether did they really know anything about medicine before they stepped their foot into medical school!! There are still people who think they can go to UK to do Cardiothoracic training after HO with unrecognised degree, become a surgeon instantly etc. However, it is my duty to explain to them. That is the purpose of this blog!
I have a feeling that the current generation do not read much!