Consumers Association of Penang

Giving voice to the little people...since 1970

Implement Dispensation Separation Without Delay

We refer to the statement by the Deputy Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr. Hilmy Yahya that the “Government is in no rush to table Pharmacy Bill.” [The Star 25 May 2015].

We call on the Government to table the Bill in Parliament without any further delay and make it available for the public to comment. There are a lot of rumours flying around in the social media about the Bill which would be put to rest by its publication.

One of the subjects included in the Bill is Dispensation Separation scheme in the healthcare sector. There is no need to delay the implementation of this scheme as it is widely practiced and proved to beneficial to patients.

Dispensing Separation: Ensuring Medication Safety

There has been a lot of discussion in the media on the old issue of Dispensing Separation lately.

Many of the arguments put forth are on areas like convenience, accessibility and even competency. While CAP feels that although these are important for the consumers, Medication Safety to patients should be of paramount importance and this should be the main consideration for the authorities to take into account for any decision on the issue of Dispensing Separation. The current vintage practice of the private clinic doctors prescribing and dispensing does not provide a safety mechanism for a qualified third party audit or check on the appropriateness or accuracy of the prescriptions. Absence of check and balance in healthcare rules out patient safety.

 

Procurement Of Questionable Medical Equipment

The Consumers Association of Penang refers to news reports regarding the procurement of questionable medical equipment by the Ministry of Health. We are shocked that the Health Ministry would even consider, let alone actually purchase medical equipment of dubious quality and origins to be used on and by patients. Now that the cats out of the bag, several things come to mind and we feel it is crucial that they be addressed.

 

Scrap the Irrelevant HPV Vaccination Programme

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CAP calls for the scrapping of the National HPV Vaccination Programme for 13-year-old Malaysian girls because it is irrelevant and the vaccines have deadly side-effects.
 
The RM150 million project which targets 300,000 schoolgirls uses vaccines which protect against 4 HPV (Human Papillomavirus) types which had correlation with cervical cancer. There are about 200 HPV types in total — 40 of which are oncogenic. The vaccines are irrelevant because they ONLY protect against 2 to 4 out of more than 40 cancer-correlated HPV types. Gardasil protects against 4 HPV types and Cervarix protects against 2 HPV types. They do not protect against more than 36 other cancer-correlated HPV types.

Regulate cosmetic surgery

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CAP calls on the Ministry of Health to strictly regulate cosmetic surgery, as there are no direct laws to prevent an unqualified person to perform cosmetic surgery or non-surgical procedures or to make them face criminal charges even if the patient dies or is disfigured as a result of a botched job.

 Presently the Health Ministry has powers only to act under the Private Healthcare Facilities and Services Act (PHFSA) 1998 and also the Medical Act 1971 if doctors untrained in cosmetic surgery are found to be involved. These antiquated laws are deemed to be insufficient to protect consumers from being duped by these unqualified so-called “cosmetic surgeons”.