ABUSE OF MEDICAL LEAVE: 'Lax' doctors would be investigated and their clinics raidedGEORGE TOWN: EMPLOYERS can lodge a report with the Malaysian Medical Council on doctors who issue medical certificates (MCs) too easily without proper examination.
Malaysian Medical Association president Dr S.R. Manalan said if there was a valid complaint, an investigation could be conducted and the clinic could be raided.
"MCs should only be issued after a medical examination.
"The council will investigate and if proven guilty, the doctor can either be let off with a warning or face suspension."
Dr Manalan was responding to a query on recent reports of doctors who issued MCs without medical examinations and workers who abused their sick leave privileges by feigning illness to obtain MCs.
Malaysian Employers Federation executive director Shamsuddin Bardan had said that based on a recent survey, on the average, each employee took about nine days per year of medical leave, or up to four per cent of working time.
He had said the system was too lax and because doctors wanted to build a good relationship with their patients, some were too easy on the MCs.
Raja Muda of Perak Raja Dr Nazrin Shah had first broached MCs when he said the initial purpose of medical leave was being abused, with doctors selling MCs to those who were not sick.
Dr Manalan said many factors had to be considered before an MC was issued.
"For example, a driver cannot drive if he has an injured leg, but a receptionist with a similar problem would still be able to do her job and answer calls."
He said employees who sought treatment at clinics often complained of diarrhoea, headaches or backaches -- ailment that was difficult to determine unless a thorough examination was done. In such cases, he said the companies should refer their staff for a medical check-up.
"The welfare of the workers is the responsibility of the employer. But if employees fake their illnesses, a check-up would scare them and this can cut down on the medical leave they take."
On the other hand, University Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC) consultant psychiatric associate professor Dr Jesjeet Singh Gill said if an employee took a great number of days for medical leave there could be an underlying problem.
"They could be suffering from anxiety attacks, under stress, or going through depression.
"There could be a number of reasons. Employers should first send their staff for a full medical check-up and when medical reasons are eliminated, they should consider counselling."
With the cost of absenteeism at about RM100 per day and the additional costs of replacing absent workers, the total loss due to sick leave stands about RM9 billion, or one per cent of Malaysia's gross domestic product of RM850 billion.
Cuepacs president Datuk Omar Osman urged heads of government departments to probe cases of civil servants abusing their sick leave.
He said civil servants should be mindful of their action so as not to undermine the integrity of the public sector.
Read more: Tackling easy MCs - General - New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/nation/general/tackling-easy-mcs-1.191329?open=true#commentsForm-263167#ixzz2GEXi5oyD
Minutes of meeting
The Meeting with Chief of PSD, Mohd Hatta bin Ahmad on 12th December 2012, 230pm
This meeting was organized by collaboration with our Ally sister Association FPMPAM, Dr. Steven Chow and BPFK (Bahagian Perkhidmatan Farmasi Kementerian) . Our thanks to them for this historic meeting.
The meeting was attended by Dr. Steven Chow and his Hon Sec Dr. Gong SK, members from MPCN/MPCAM our brothers Dr. Saifuzzaman Yusuf, Dr. Mohd Khafidz Ishak, Dr. Raj Kumar Maharajah, Bro Alex Wong and me (Dr Jim Loi)
We introduced ourselves one by one and listen to the opening remarks from En. Mohd Hatta (The Pengarah Penguatkuasa Farmasi).
About the attitudes of Enforcement Officers towards the doctors.
He listen to our grouses and the complaints that were brought to his attention via online sources like our MPCN facebook postings about unfair treatment and draconian behavior from their Enforcement Officers when visiting our fellow doctors during the audit/inspection and raids.
We were made to understand why there is such a visit in the first place. 3 reasons were highlighted …
1.Drugs purchased in huge quantity especially Psychotropics.
2.Poison act needs to be checked and regulated to prevent abuses, both the number 1 and 2 are tied to the information taken from the Pharmaceutical supplier data of sales.
3.The complaints from Public and Police reports made against the clinic.
Then they will only act if there is any suspicious activity and they will need to collect data to prosecute if any of such activity is suspected.
We asked for their S.O.P. for such a visits and what we should do…this follows after we told them of the high handed actions and abuse by their officers during such ‘raids’….they did apologizes but they are seem to be on defensive side but it thaws out later once we told them it did happen or else we would not be there discussing this point….There is black sheep amongst them too , and they are sincere enough finally to apologized to those whom they have offended…They also shows us their standard SOP …..we were told what to do if any such bad behavior from their officers, Please do the following steps….
1.Note down the time and date of the incident
2.Note down the names of their Officers involved…There should be 3 of them….One will be outside the site premises…2 will be inside the premise.
3.Note down their behavior and their attitude that caused the problems and if possible take a photo of the ‘crime site and offenders’.
4.And finally report to their portal or their main office….info at www.bpfk.gov.my.
The proof for their misbehavior was also discussed because it will be only one sided story if we can’t show them proof that they did wrong or we did wrong too. So the judgement for this proof will be most debated but best to find a way to solve this by going to the ground explaining and understand the difficulties faced by both sides of the players involved.
We suggested training is required for this group of young new troopers for their enforcement unit should be also trained in manners and as well respecting us doctors as it should be, unless we are really the bad mannered one, then we got nothing to show them who is wrong and who is right.
Dr. Steven Chow asked about the regulation that contravenes our PHFSA due to the action done by enforcement regarding if there is no doctor present at the clinic. Are they still allowed to check upon the prescription log book?.....They say they won’t until the doctor is present.
The Recording of DDA.
The recording of psychotropic drugs must be done under the current law that needs it to be done daily if there is such sales and need it in manual long book(DDA Log Book)…we told them that this is outdated and needs to be amended to the current tech and time. They agreed that recording with computer programs like Xcel format can be used but must be printed daily within the 24 hours so that it will be in physical bound form like a book keeping file holders….we seek a better way to record our DDA book and only by amendment of this outdated law that things will be more up to date…..They also feared that digital format can be altered and corrected so the need for daily printing will be advisable to prevent such forgery of data….
We were shown some videos later on about some clinics records, regarding abuse of psychotropic and misuse of the DDA…..they were not meant to embarrass us but to show the real cases that has happened in our country……
The Actions taken on Errant / Unethical Pharmacist/Pharmacy.
The number of actions/tindakan taken upon errant pharmacy are more than actions taken upon doctors in general and according to their data. They’ve shown us some data.
We informed them about the way some pharmacist acting like doctors …and they are powerless against that. The only way is to make a police report and the need to have hard evidence to take action upon them and also the need of Witness to be present during any court cases that the witness need to testify ….such a troublesome procedure will definitely deters some from taking actions against them…..there is a need to address this problem and they gave us an email to respond/report to…..email@example.com.
Otherwise, we will have to take up this cases of Pharmacist acting as doctors to their Lembaga Farmasi or even their MPS.
They are as clueless as we are on where this stands at the moment…Not the right place to discussed this as this is not their turf….This belongs to MOH and the Rang Undang Undang Perubatan. We will have to get more information elsewhere and we will have to protect what is our rights and the best way to serve our public to formulate this rights and unique Malaysian style of medicine healthcare system.
The meeting concluded by 5:00 pm with thanks from our team and FPMPAM to them and their willingness to hear us out and play an important roles to help and foster a better relationship to all of us….The promised of a better cooperation and relationship with them.
They are sincere and kind enough to understand our plight and will asked for all to forgive if there is any mistakes in the past and hope for the best for our future in this nation healthcare environment.
Our thanks once again to all who attended this meeting today and hope for more future interaction sessions like today to better enhance our understanding and working together to combat the abuse of misusing psychotropic and directly helping to curb the dangers spillover(crimes) from abuse of drugs in this country.
Comments on the above minute, feedback and grouses coa be traced back to this linkhttp://www.facebook.com/groups/Malaysianprimecareetwork/permalink/10151372641814042/