MMA tells patients to know their rights

Dr-Ravindran-mmaPETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) has urged the public to know their rights as patients in order to receive fair treatment at private clinics.

The call came after a patient claimed that she was denied a medical certificate (MC) after refusing to take medicine from a doctor at a private clinic in Subang Jaya.

Speaking to FMT, the patient, who only wanted to be known as Syafiqah, said she had rejected the medicine after a friend who came with her said she had the medication at home.

“I was supposed to have a presentation the next day but I was having such a bad gastric pain that I felt like I was going to faint,” she said.

“That’s why I needed the MC.”

However, according to comments made by MMA president Dr Ravindran R Naidu, this should not have happened.

“An MC is given only if you are sick and deserve it. So if the patient is unwell, then of course medicine will be given,” he told FMT, adding that patients had the right to refuse medication.

When asked, Ravindran said there was nothing compelling doctors to display their charges clearly before a patient decides to seek treatment at any healthcare facility.

However, he said patients had the right to request for prescriptions from doctors so they could buy their medicine from pharmacies.

He also said there were several avenues for patients to complain if they found that a doctor was acting in an unprofessional manner.

“We have an ethics committee in MMA. A patient can also complain to the Malaysian Medical Council or the health ministry’s practice department.

“Action will be taken against the doctor if it is found that he has done something wrong or against the Private Healthcare Facilities and Services Act.”

Ravindran said those who wanted to know more about their rights as patients could find refer to the health ministry’s official website.