BUKIT LANJAN: What’s up docs?

 BUKIT LANJAN: What’s up docs?

It is unnerving that as many as 500 clinics operated by general practitioners (GPs) were estimated to have closed down between 2014 and 2016 due to poor business.

So, where is the shortage of doctors in Malaysia as widely claimed? And the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) is worried that the situation may worsen.

“But Malaysians are still pressuring their children to pursue medical degrees,” Gerakan Deputy Speaker Syed Abdul Razak Alsagoff.

“Since there is an apparent glut in the number of GPs in Malaysia, why are parents, especially the Chinese community, continue to want their children to pursue the medical profession?

“Why not keep up with the times, pursue academic and technical tertiary programmes that suit the innovative demands of technology and development?” he asked. (Read these for context:

http://bukitlanjan.blogspot.my/2017/06/bukit-lanjan-malaysia-needs-to-produce.html; http://bukitlanjan.blogspot.my/2017/06/bukit-lanjan-china-rise-of-machines.html; http://bukitlanjan.blogspot.my/2017/05/bukit-lanjan-start-preparing-malaysians.html; and http://bukitlanjan.blogspot.my/2017/05/bukit-lanjan-how-is-china-conquering.html)

Syed Razak, who is Gerakan’s nominee to contest N.37 Bukit Lanjan in the coming 14th General Election, said parents today “much review and change their mindset when raising their children and preparing them for their future as working adults”.

“There are indeed too many doctors and lawyers in Malaysia. What we need are innovative science and technology minds to serve Malaysia,” he added.

Here’s what The Star Online posted on the medical profession:

Home > News > Nation
Thursday, 22 June 2017

Clinics closed due to poor business

PETALING JAYA: As many as 500 clinics run by general practitioners (GPs) were estimated to have closed between 2014 and 2016 due to poor business.

And the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) is worried that the situation may worsen.

Its president Dr Ravindran R. Naidu said a study involving 1,800 GPs revealed widespread concern over the financial sustainability of their clinics.

The findings from Study on the Health Economics of General Practitioners in Malaysia: Trends, Challenges and Moving Forward in 2016 revealed that the expenses for managing GP services had increased over the years due to changes in policies as well as the involvement of the unregulated third party administrators (TPAs), said Dr Ravindran.

The findings showed almost 70% of clinics saw fewer than 30 patients a day, while the operating cost of a clinic in an urban area ranges from RM50,000 to RM60,000 a month.

“With the drop in number of patients and increasing cost, it will eventually lead to the natural death of the GP practice,” said Dr Ravin dran, adding that prior to this, instances of clinics closing down were rare as they would typically be sold or passed on to others to run should the doctors retire or migrate.

Dr Ravindran argued that TPAs must take the main share of the blame as they had removed some patients from GPs.

“They negotiate with companies and take away patients from one cli nic and pass them to other cli nics,” he said, adding that TPAs place restrictions on consultation fees, types of medication prescribed, while charging GPs a fee for every patient they see.

Contributory factors, said Dr Ravindran, include the overproduction of doctors and the introduction of the contract system for those in public service.

He said as the Government would only take 50% of the doctors after a four-year contract, the rest are likely to become GPs, thus saturating the sector even further.

The solution to this, argued Dr Ravindran, is that the Government has to cut down on the number of students studying medicine as there were 5,000 medical students graduating each year.

“The other alternative is to build more hospitals while all medical colleges should have their own hospitals,” he said.

The vice-president of the Medical Practitioners Coalition Association of Malaysia, Dr M. Raj Kumar, agrees that clinics seeing below 30 patients a day were unsustainable.

“A clinic needs at least 30 patients, depending on locality,” he said, adding that operating costs have skyrocketed in recent years such as the various licences needed for the practice, medicine costs that increase every six months, the introduction of GST, and rise in wages for nurses and assistants.

“The poor economy is also forcing the public to visit government clinics,” he said.

Many doctors, especially solo practitioners, end up joining emergency rooms in hospitals, take up locum stints or join pharmaceutical companies.



Popular posts from this blog

BUKIT LANJAN: What will happen to those who can’t think out of the box, can’t change or can’t evolve?

BUKIT LANJAN: To have any chance to save Gerakan, kick out those lousy fellas on the cai dan (menu)

BUKIT LANJAN: Graduates getting employed through connections and status? That’s very unhealthy!