I REFER to the letter “When the Hippocratic Oath becomes a hypocritic oath” on Dec 2 by Dr A. Soorian.
I read with great interest as the author is quite confused on the purpose of a prescription.
A prescription is an important medico-legal document which ensures the patient receives the correct medication prescribed by a doctor, only after a consultation, which is then screened by a pharmacist before the medicine is dispensed to the patient.
Therefore, if a doctor decides that a patient does not require antibiotics, steroids and sleeping pills, then there is no need to prescribe a prescription.
These new amendments were never meant to criminalise the doctors, especially those in the private sector.
In any other countries, there is no such law in place because prescriptions are automatically given to the patients, unlike in Malaysia.
In our government healthcare facilities, patients will automatically receive a prescription, otherwise they will not be able to collect their medications from the pharmacy.
While other countries, including our neighbours in Singapore and Thailand, have moved on in leaps and bounds in terms of ensuring medication safety, it is very unfortunate that certain groups of doctors in Malaysia are still stuck in their outdated practice and refuse to move forward.
TAN ZHI SHAN
Petaling Jaya, Selangor