Wednesday, March 04, 2015


Over the last 2 months, we have been fighting this DS issue. DS meaning, dispensing Separation, meaning that in the new proposed Pharmacy Act, the government has inserted a clause to separate dispensing from prescription, meaning that should that Act be passed, doctors will prescribe and pharmacist will dispense. At the present, doctors see patient, make the diagnosis and prescribe. Patients then ave the freedom, to either buy their medication ( dispensing ) from that same doctor, or buy from any pharmacy of his choice. This to us looks like a very good system. And to support us, this system has stood the test of time.

However, this government in their haste to eventually implement the National Healthcare Re-structuring and Transformation ( meaning they wish to socialise healthcare ), they wanted to rush through this DS together with a new Pharmacy Act. Although the Minister ( liar ) said that there is no timeline and nothing was decided, we were informed that this Pharmacy Act was to be tabled at the coming Parliamentary session, beginning 9th March 2015. After two weeks of inrense lobbying and mass media coverage, MOH call a meeting today ( 4th march 2015 )  of the doctors with the Pharmaceutical Division of MOH to discuss this DS issue. The doctors, having been warned that the MOH was not genuine, planned that they wish to see a draft of the Pharmacy Act, as they wanted to see how the statements were worded. So far, even an MMC request to see a draft of the Pharmacy Act was denied. Since this Pharmacy Act does affect medical practice, surely MMC has a right to see a draft of the new Act. So doctors were very upset. How can we discuss anything that we have not knowledge of.
This morning I had a heavy teaching program in UTAR / Ampang Hospital so I could not attend.
So we planned that the doctors associations who were invited ( MPCAM, FPMPAM, PERKIM, MMA ), will at the commencement of the meeting ask for a draft cop of the Pharmacy Act to study. If they were denied that, that all the doctors will walk out from the meeting.
Below is how my colleague reported on what happened.

    " ALL medical associations walked out of the meeting at NPCB (National Pharmaceutical Control Bureau) just now as the Pharmacy Bill was not disclosed. How to discuss anything if you don't show us?
Kudos to all who attended. Say no to DS, especially if things are done in secret and lacking transparency."

I am so glad that the doctors all stood together, united, and took a common stand.
The doctors have stood up, united,
4th March is a historic new day for doctors.

We now await the response from MOH.

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