Wednesday, September 01, 2010

REFERRING to the letter “Perfect nurses but doctors found wanting” (The Star, Aug 30), I do have the same concern over some doctors in our public health system.

Our public hospitals and healthcare centres are the major healthcare service providers for the majority of Malaysians seeking affordable care, and we cannot compromise on the quality of care rendered.

Recently, some of my friends who consulted a few public hospitals complained to me that they had been seen by arrogant doctors who were very bad in their communication and interpersonal skills.

Furthermore, in certain hospitals, the privacy of patients was not taken into consideration during consultation in outpatient clinics.

I personally know that in one public hospital in the northern region, two or three patients are seen in a consultation room at the same time during a clinic day. This can be a really embarrassing and daunting session for some.

Understanding patient psychosocial behaviour is important, and subjects related to this area are always taught in medical and health-related courses. Yet some practitioners still do not incorporate what they have learned in their daily practice.

Healthcare providers also need to understand that the expectation of patients to public health service has changed over the years. The new generation of patients are better educated and they also expect healthcare professionals to be more sensitive to their healthcare needs.

If we look closely at public health service provision in developed countries, good patient healthcare professional communication is always part of good care provision practice. And patients are also engaged in any decision-making process.

In Malaysia, we seldom see this. Most of the healthcare providers believe they know everything and sometimes fail to understand the actual underlying problems with their patients because they were not attentive to what the patient had to say.

This in turn will have a negative impact on patient treatment outcomes. Therefore, it is imperative that the Health Ministry ensures that the healthcare professionals hired must be more attentive to their patients’ needs and engage them in any decision-making process in order to achieve good health outcomes.

Otherwise some slogans that I saw in hospitals, such as “All for quality and quality for all”, are just for the sake of exhibition.


George Town.

text taken from

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