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Is it Director-General of Health Tan Sri Dr Ismail Merican or the new Health Minister Datuk Liow Tiong Lai? This stupid trend must stop. It is a waste of time for both loons who are involved. This is like children playing games, now I see it and now you don’t. Is Ismail over confident that he has seniority over Liow, and that Liow can be taken for a ride. Surely he could have briefed Liow before making the statement. Can the people take it that any statement from Ismail is bull shit and we have to wait for Liow.
First Ismail says doctors cannot dispense medicine but this will be done by pharmacologists. He has records, for 20 years this issue has been bandied about, and now he feels the time is right to implement. Liow is new in the Ministry, which right thinking person will over ride his boss, without consultation to make an important decision.
Liow just says the statement is wrong. Why? Does he not agree with Ismail? Was Liow not consulted? Did the reporter make a mistake? Why…why…why…
The ultimate is Liow fears Merican, and he does not bring out his name. What is wrong in telling the DG is wrong, will that make the DG lose his pension. Will he be sacked? As a Minister you should have rolled him on the carpet, stamp on him and say look here DG I make the decisions not you. Or is there already bad blood existing between both of you or an identity crisis who runs the health ministry, the DG or the Minister.
This what happens when the civil servants behave out of the ordinary. A State Secretary signs an important bill on behalf of the government when the government is not there. I am here referring to the Water Bill in Selangor. Is the State Secretary still around. I thought he should have been send to pasture, retire him, he has too big a head.
Or are all Ministers and government servants affected by the sleeping sickness of the leader. Hard to say.
Come on Liow say something to dignify your position as Health Minister or let Merican be the Minister.
Doctors to be disallowed from dispensing medicines

By : Annie Freeda Cruez

Soon only pharmacies will  dispense medicines while  doctors can only prescribe medication.
Soon only pharmacies will dispense medicines while doctors can only prescribe medication.

KUALA LUMPUR: Soon, doctors will not be allowed to dispense medicines. Doctors will only be allowed to prescribe medications but patients will have to get the medicines from pharmacies.

Currently, doctors diagnose the disease, prescribe the medicines and their own clinics dispense them.
For almost 20 years, pharmacists have been fighting for the “return” of their right to dispense medications but had been unsuccessful for various reasons.
A pilot project on the separation of functions between doctors’ clinics and pharmacies will be launched by the Ministry of Health.
It is scheduled to be launched at selected major towns with the ministry closely monitoring the strength and weaknesses of the system before implementing it nationwide.

Director-General of Health Tan Sri Dr Ismail Merican said the ministry was not able to implement this system earlier due to logistics problems, especially the shortage of pharmacists and pharmacies in the country.
“We also have to take into consideration the welfare of patients. If we have the separation, then patients must have easy accessibility to pharmacies to get their prescribed medications,” he told the New Straits Times.
He said the ministry had conducted a detailed study, “Pharmacy and clinic Mapping” on various issues ranging from welfare of patients, facilities available and capability of pharmacies to meet the demand.
“We found that the logistics problem is still an issue and needs to be resolved as we do not want patients to be running around looking for pharmacies with the doctors’ prescriptions,” said Dr Ismail.
Furthermore, he said, the pharmacies should be able to provide quality care.
He said the ministry had been doing the study with various stakeholders, focusing on the spread of community pharmacies or pharmacy outlets in major towns, rural and remote areas.
Some 5,000 registered pharmacists are actively practising in some 1,600 pharmacies nationwide.
In 2004, there were only 3,927 registered pharmacists with about 1,540 retail pharmacies or one for every 16,445 persons.
Dr Ismail said the pilot project would be implemented in major towns based on the study where there were pharmacies near clinics.
“If the pilot project is successful, we will have to look into the existing laws to allow for the separation,” he added.
India, South Korea and Taiwan have implemented the separation. Malaysian Pharmaceutical Society president John Chang Chiew Pheng said the ministry’s move to conduct a pilot project was definitely a positive development which would enhance the level of healthcare delivery.
The separation, he added, would benefit patients as doctors could now focus on their clinical, diagnosing, counselling and prescription, while pharmacists could focus on educating patients on how best to optimise the usage of medicines prescribed.
Furthermore, Chang said, pharmacists could help patients choose between generic and branded drugs based on their financial situation.
“With commitment and determination we can overcome teething problems and patients can understand their medicines,” he added.
He said if the government went ahead with the separation, then more pharmacies could be set up near clinics for easy accessibility to patients.

The New Straits Times Online….

Saturday March 29, 2008

No decision on docs dispensing medicine

By TEH ENG HOCK

KUALA LUMPUR: The Health Ministry has denied a report which said doctors would be prevented from dispensing medicine.

Health Minister Datuk Liow Tiong Lai said the article, which was published on the front page of a local English daily on Saturday, was not true.

“We have not made any decision at all. We are conducting a study, but it is only at a preliminary stage,” he said.

The report said a pilot project on the separation of functions between doctors’ clinics and pharmacies would be launched by the Health Ministry.

It also said that the pilot project would be launched at selected major towns, with the ministry closely monitoring the strengths and weaknesses of the system before implementing it nationwide.

Liow said while the Ministry was considering the request by pharmacists, the study had yet to be completed and a pilot project might not even be launched if the findings were not encouraging.

“If we find that people will be affected (negatively), we might not even carry out the pilot project,” he said.

He added that he wanted to meet up with doctors and pharmacists to understand more about the issue.

“But most importantly, at the end of the day, the people must enjoy good medical services,” he said.

Liow was speaking to reporters after visiting the Kuala Lumpur General Hospital on Saturday.

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