Thursday, February 10, 2011

advertising

doctors in malaysia are prohibited from advertising their services in the mass media, in compliance with the Medicines (Advertisement & Sale) Act, 1956. however, private hospitals have some leeway, in that they may place entries in the Yellow Pages, informing the public their location & of services available but not publishing names of their doctors. presumably this is to maintain some degree of  professionalism & prevent doctors from soliciting.

so, i was rather surprised to see these two adverts placed side-by-side in the papers when i was in s'pore last weekend....

they were just 2 of the numerous adverts placed that day. even the names of the doctors & their fees were included along with contact numbers. apparently, the S'pore Health Ministry lifted restrictions on advertisement in 2003 to compete for international clients who may have previously favoured malaysia or thailand. (read here)

should we follow suit & expose the public to a wider range of medical services & let them choose whom they wish to consult? i don't know. so far, the word-of-mouth method of recommendation seems to have worked out well. on the other hand, if advertising were allowed, there is also a possibility that some unscrupulous ones may try to outdo others with outrageous claims like being the best in KL, PJ & some say, seremban.

unlike the hilarious phua chu kang, this would be a tragedy, wouldn't it?

10 comments:

Yvonne Foong said...

I can imagine the kind of outrageous claims that will be made possible in Bolehland!

But personally, as an NF patient, life could have been so much easier if I had easy access to doctor profiles and CVs. My Acoustic Neuroma removal at KLGH in 2003 was a mistake. It was a benign tumor. I needn't rush into surgery. If only I did more research and resisted immediate surgery, I could have prevented the facial nerve damage. With the facial nerve damaged, the eye no longer produces enough tears to lubricate. This leaves the cornea at risk of drying up and blinding me.

If doctors are allowed to publish their CVs and advertise their skills in hospital websites, public health in Malaysia will be much better than it is right now.

Medie007 said...

haha.

Dr. XXX, best ingrown toe-nail surgeon in Malaysia, Singapore and some say Indonesia.

Mei Teng said...

Word-of-mouth recommendations is usually the norm. But not necessarily better services.

doc said...

Yvonne,

on the other hand, could the facial nerve palsy have happened regardless of the timing of surgery, considering the proximity of the neuroma to the nerve?

how would your US neurosurgeon have handled that?

doc said...

Medie,

the possibilities are endless!

doc said...

Mei Teng,

i agree. everyone is different & the results may not be the same.

Yvonne Foong said...

Doc, by 2003, HEI neurotologists already know how to remove the AN without harm to the facial nerve. Dr. Friedman removed the residuals of that tumor in 2004 without further damages to the facial nerve. He removed my left sided AN entirely in 2006 without the slightest damage to my facial nerve on that side.

They have a technique to separate the hearing and facial nerve while removing the acoustic neuroma/vestivular schwanoma. Doctors in other parts of the U.S. might know of the technique as well such as Dr. Takanori Fukushima who comes to Malaysia for conference from time to time.

doc said...

Yvonne,

you are now virtually an authority in this field yourself!!

Yvonne Foong said...

Doc, wah, that's a big and generous compliment. But I guess I have been lucky to meet surgeons willing to share and explain my condition to me.

I've been thinking if the government will invest in grooming our best and brightest medical students irrespective of creed and skin color, instead of buying submarines that don't dive or sending a space tourist to the moon, we'd have been able to improve the qualify of life of NF patients in this country. I can focus on completing my degree and not worry about medical costs so much.

doc said...

Yvonne,

i agree & i call that a blatant case of misplaced priority.