The Rakyat Post
Pharmaceutical Association of Malaysia (PhAMA) deputy president Amrahi Buang says self-medication should not be a concern if members of the public are well informed on the sickness they were suffering from.
KUALA LUMPUR, March 5, 2015:
The country’s healthcare system is not yet ready for a separation in dispensing of medicines, Pharmaceutical Association of Malaysia (PhAMA) deputy president Amrahi Buang said.He told Malay daily Sinar Harian that an overhaul of the healthcare system was necessary before the proposal could be implemented.
“It cannot happen unless the government forms an integrated healthcare system, combining the public and private sector with the health treatment and medication paid by the government,” he was quoted as saying.The issue came to light when the Malaysian Community Pharmacy Guild (MCPG) made the proposal to the Health Ministry in a series of discussions from 2008.
On Feb 20, the Malaysian Doctors Club, with a membership of more than 8,000 doctors from private clinics and non-governmental organisations in the medical field, protested against the proposal.The Congress of Unions of Employees in the Public and Civil Services (Cuepacs) is also against the proposal because it will incur higher medical costs.Amrahi said the dispensing of medication by pharmacists will ensure the patients’ safety.
He added that higher medical costs should not be an issue as pharmacists were also trained to identify symptoms for general sickness.He said doctors in private clinics and pharmacy store proprietors were making it more expensive for the public to get medication as they were essentially running a business.
“As such, the government must combine public and private clinics under one system so that patients can have a choice as it will be funded by the government.“The government will need to set up a national healthcare financing system and list out the medicines that will be funded by the government.”Amrahi said the issue had been discussed by PhAMA from as way back as 1986, in a memorandum signed with the Malaysia Medical Association.
He further said that pharmacies can operate 24 hours if instructed by the government, while self-medication should not be a concern if the public was well informed on the sickness they were suffering from.“What we hope to achieve from the separation is that doctors and pharmacists can perform their core function with full effectiveness.”
He said there were 13,000 registered pharmacists in the country.