MELAKA, Oct 20 (Bernama) — The role of the family doctor would be empowered within four years to correspond with the health ministry’s initiative to strengthen its frontline services.
Datuk Seri Dr S Subramaniam said with the initiative starting early next year, diseases could be detected and treated at an early stage by family doctors, thereby reducing the number of patients receiving treatment for serious illnesses in the hospitals.He said family doctors both in government and private clinics were an important component in the health frontline services as they were responsible for ensuring the success of disease prevention efforts in society.”At one time we practised the ‘favourite doctor’ concept where we have a specific doctor from whom we seek treatment whenever we fall sick, from the time we were still single until we become grandparents and then bring our grandchildren to see the same doctor.
“This is a good concept because the doctor knows the medical history of the whole family. But this has faded away over time,” he told reporters after chairing a two-day health conference which ended Sunday.
Asked whether there would be sufficient doctors to cater to the family doctor concept, he admitted there was a shortage but that the ministry was making efforts to overcome it.
“We are in the midst of enhancing our skills and training system to produce more family doctors, also discussing on expanding the scope of the doctor to increase family medical specialists…we can’t have a speedy solution because it takes time to produce a good doctor,” he said.