MELAKA – The government has yet to finalise a proposal to separate the functions of pharmacies and clinics in the country, and is currently in the process of receiving feedback from the public said Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S.Subramaniam.
He said his ministry was also in the process of having dialogues, especially with medical practinoners, to ensure the proposal can benefit the people.
“There is definitely a suggestion (from the Ministry of Health) to amend the act related to pharmacies functioning separately but I have requested them to present it again after getting feedback from the public and having dialogue sessions with the parties involved.
“The government considers all views, especially those from the public, before making a decision (to amend the act), so I request not to make any speculation regarding this matter,” he said during a press conference after inaugurating a new building of SJKT Jalan Kubu here yesterday.
Last Friday (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 the proposal to separate the functions of clinics and pharmacies.
In Kuala Lumpur, Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) President Dr H. Krishna Kumar, in supporting Dr Subramaniam’s statement that the separation of pharmacies and clinics should only take place after a comprehensive health care restructuring, said currently there was a lack of pharmacists to dispense the medicines especially in rural areas.
He said the distribution of the pharmacies was mainly in urban areas, and separating these functions would burden the rural population to obtain their medication.
“We have 24-hour clinics but there are no 24-hour pharmacies, so it would burden the people in the rural area especially in Sabah and Sarawak to travel to town just to obtain their medication when currently they would get it from the general practitioners (GPs) who are practising in their area,” he said at a press conference here, yesterday.
He added that the separation of functions of pharmacies and clinics would burden patients financially when they had to pay for two different professionals. – BERNAMA