The management of abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA) at a private medical centre was reviewed. The criteria for surgery were AAA more than or equal to five centimeters in diameter, symptomatic AAA even if less than five centimeters and ruptured AAA. A total of 67 patients were seen between October 1991 to September 1994. The age range was 48 to 94 years, mean = 69.8. There were 58 males to nine females. Twelve patients presented with ruptured AAA. There were three suprarenal AAA and three mycotic AAA. Aneurysmectomies were performed on 50 patients. This include all patients with ruptured AAA. There was no mortality in the elective cases. One patient with ruptured AAA died, ie. an operative mortality of eight per cent. It was concluded that a very low operative mortality can be achieved in this group of high risk patients. Our results were comparable to those reported by other centres in the developed countries. Important factors contributing to these results include a team approach in a unit interested in this disease, careful pre-operative preparation and a rigid post-operative regime. For ruptured AAA, survival of the patient depended on a successful and timely operation. It was also concluded that no patient should be deemed unfit for surgery or denied an operation if they needed to have one and it was safe to transport patients with ruptured AAA to a centre where the operation can be performed.
BACKGROUND: Malaysia, a South East Asian country, legally permits general medical practitioners in private clinics to dispense medicines. This possibly can dilute the pharmacist role in the provision of healthcare and pharmaceutical care and deprive patients to benefit from these services.
OBJECTIVE: This study explored, assessed and compared the current status of medicines labeling, patient's counseling, and symptomatic diagnosis by general practitioners and community pharmacists.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: This study used trained Simulated Patients (SP), who participated in a scenario of common cold symptoms at private clinics and community pharmacies. SPs explored medication labeling, patients counseling and symptomatic diagnosis undertaken by general practitioners and community pharmacists. Later, study authors assessed and compared these practices. The study was conducted during June 2011 in Penang, Malaysia.
RESULTS: The study used descriptive statistics and Fisher-exact test to analyze data. Regarding patients counseling standard, among 100 visits by simulated patients, 64 (64%) from community pharmacists provided information about the medicine name, its indication, dosage and route of administration versus 17 (42.5%) general practitioners during 40 visits (p=0.024). Concerning adherence to labeling standard, for instance, only in one pharmacy visit, (1%) the pharmacist wrote the name of the patient on the medication label versus in 32 (80%) of doctors' visits, the doctors adhered to this labeling standard (p<0.001). In all doctors' visits (n=40, 100%), SPs were asked about symptoms, whereas in 87 (87%) CPs' visits, pharmacists fulfilled this counseling standard (p=0.02).
CONCLUSION: Although pharmacists showed less compliance to medicine labeling and symptomatic diagnosis compared to doctors, their counseling of patients was better. Separation will definitely contribute to more concentration of each provider on his/her roles and improve and direct the experiences and skills towards being more patient oriented.
KEYWORDS: Common cold; Community pharmacists; Dispensing doctors; Dispensing separation; General medical practitioners; Malaysia; Medicine labelling; Patient’s counselling; Simulated patients
This survey was carried out to examine the habits of practising optometrists in private practice around Kuala Lumpur and the Klang Valley. A questionnaire survey was prepared that encompassed questions on ophthalmic intruments and appliances, services offered, eye examinatians carried aut and patient management, failure ta carry out comprehensive eye examination, community engagements and their opinion on optometrists as primary eyecare practitioners. The questionnaire was sent to 100 registered optometrists practising in Kuala Lumpur and the Klang Valley. About 64 optometrists responded and returned the questionnaire, but 3 of them were excluded because they were incomplete. The results showed almast all aptornetric practice has all the equipment related to optometry practice except for tonometer and visual ﬁeld measurement. F orty~four percent ( 44%) of aptometrists undertook comprehensive eye examinatians and necessary referred patients far further examinations. Optometrists who did not perform comprehensive eye examinations give reasons of inadequate equipment and clients who want a quick examination. ln conclusion optometric practice provide almost all the equipments required for optometrists to practice as primary health care practioners but only 44% of optometrists carriedout comprehensive eye examinations. Optometrists in private practice need to practice all the skills they learned and play important roles in educating the public in an effort to improve the primary eyecare of society. Keywords: optometric practice, private practice, primary health eyecare
Ultimately, the majority of our medical graduates ends up in primary health care either in private practice or in the government service. It would be appropriate that their education and training should meet not only the requirements of their eventual vocation, but just as importantly, the expectations of a more discerning community at large. Rising pressures on the profession to provide more cost-effective and affordable health services of good quality would put an increasing emphasis on the development and promotionof primary health care to higher standards. Primary health care workers would be hard-pressed to provide more health information and to actively participate in disease prevention and control as part of their professional duties. As medical specialisation and technology contibute towards more fragmented, complex and dehumanising forms of practice, the greater will be the need for the integrative skills of the primary physician providing personal and continuing care. The future nature of medical care will have to respond to this community demand.
BACKGROUND: Pharmacists are considered medication experts but are underutilized and exist mainly at the periphery of the Malaysian primary health care team. Private general practitioners (GPs) in Malaysia are granted rights under the Poison Act 1952 to prescribe and dispense medications at their primary care clinics. As most consumers obtain their medications from their GPs, community pharmacists' involvement in ensuring safe use of medicines is limited. The integration of a pharmacist into private GP clinics has the potential to contribute to quality use of medicines. This study aims to explore health care consumers' views on the integration of pharmacists within private GP clinics in Malaysia.
METHODS: A purposive sample of health care consumers in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, were invited to participate in focus groups and semi-structured interviews. Sessions were audio recorded and transcribed verbatim and thematically analyzed using NVivo 10.
RESULTS: A total of 24 health care consumers participated in two focus groups and six semi-structured interviews. Four major themes were identified: 1) pharmacists' role viewed mainly as supplying medications, 2) readiness to accept pharmacists in private GP clinics, 3) willingness to pay for pharmacy services, and 4) concerns about GPs' resistance to pharmacist integration. Consumers felt that a pharmacist integrated into a private GP clinic could offer potential benefits such as to provide trustworthy information on the use and potential side effects of medications and screening for medication misadventure. The potential increase in costs passed on to consumers and GPs' reluctance were perceived as barriers to integration.
CONCLUSION: This study provides insights into consumers' perspectives on the roles of pharmacists within private GP clinics in Malaysia. Consumers generally supported pharmacist integration into private primary health care clinics. However, for pharmacists to expand their capacity in providing integrated and collaborative primary care services to consumers, barriers to pharmacist integration need to be addressed.
KEYWORDS: Malaysia; general practitioners; health care consumer; pharmacist integration; private clinic
312 diabetics were seen in a multiracial urban general practice in Peninsular Malaysia during a five-year period. Of these, 210 (67%) were Indians, confirming the higher prevalence of diabetes among Indians reported in other studies. 67 were newly found diabetics. The sex, age, family history, of the diabetics, duration and complications of diabetes, are reviewed and compared with similar studies. The larger number of diabetics may partly be attributed to the presence in the community of a large number of Indians born in India. Stress also may contribute to the high prevalence of the disease in Indians, who are prone to diabetes by virtue of heredity.
A survey of laws and regulations governing the practice of radiology by general practitioners in Malaysis and ten other selected countries wascarried out. It showedvaryingdegrees oflegal restrictions on the use of x-ray machines in the countries studied. Most regulations reflected the concern of radiation protection forpatients andstaff. Only some countries provide training for non-medical persons in the use of x-ray machines. Radiology has an important role in primary care. Undergraduate and post-graduate education should ensure competence in basic radiological practice. KEYWORDS: X-ray, general practice, regulations.
This study investigated the sociodemographic profiles of patients attending public and private dental clinics and the types of treatment received. Patients (n=454) were interviewed using a structured questionnaire at two public and four private clinics in Sibu District, Sarawak. Generally, Chinese (74.7%), females (60.0%) and urban dwellers (83.7%) were more likely to visit the dentist. Both clinics had more females and more Chinese but private clinics had a lower percentage of female attendees (53.1% versus 67.0%) but a higher percentage of Chinese (85.0% versus 64.5%). Private attendees were younger (mean age of 31.0 years compared to 41.0 years) and from higher income households (median value of MR 2,000 versus MR 900) than public attendees. Treatments were mostly curative and a third of the visits were associated with painful conditions. Age (p=0.006), gender (p=0.003), ethnicity (p<0.001) and household income (p<0.001) were associated with the type of clinic visited. Choice of clinic was not related to having painful conditions (p=0.970). To ensure a more affordable and equitable distribution of oral healthcare, health planners need to identify disparities in the utilization of services and differences between public and private attendees.
BACKGROUND: In Malaysia, doctors in private clinics (often called dispensing doctors) are permitted to dispense medicines. This potentially may compromise rational dispensing of medicines in general and antibiotics in particular.
AIM: This study explored, assessed and compared dispensing of antibiotics between Community Pharmacist (CP) and General Practitioners (GPs) regarding symptomatic diagnosis, antibiotic categories, adherence to therapeutic doses and promotion of generic antibiotics.
METHOD: The study used trained Simulated Patients (SPs), who used a scenario of common cold symptoms at GP private clinics and community pharmacies to observe and explore the practice of antibiotics dispensing. The study was conducted within the period of May to September 2011 in Penang, Malaysia. The data was analysed using descriptive statistics, Chi-square and Fisher's Exact Tests at alpha level of 0.05.
RESULTS: GPs dispensed more antibiotics than CPs (p= 0.001) for common cold symptoms. They dispensed more Amoxicillin (n = 14, 35%) than CPs (n = 11, 11%) (p < 0.001) and more Tetracycline (n = 3, 7.5%) while no CP dispensed this category (p = 0.022). On the other hand, CPs (n = 11, 11%) suggested brand antibiotics where as GPs dispensed only generic antibiotics (p < 0.001). Generally GPs comply better with the symptomatic diagnosis standard e.g. when asking SPs about the symptoms they had, all GPs (n = 40, 100%) complied better with this standard. Despite that, they dispensed more antibiotics (n = 26, 65%) than CPs (n = 29, 29%) (p = 0.001). GPs (n = 22, 55%) also are better than CPs (n = 16, 16%) in adherence to therapeutic doses (p< 0.001).
CONCLUSION: Findings showed poor adherence to rational dispensing of antibiotics by both providers. Although, GPs adhere better to symptomatic diagnosis and therapeutic dosing of antibiotics than CPs, they unnecessarily prescribe and dispense more antibiotics for Upper respiratory tract infection (URTI) symptoms. Establishing prescription guidance and regulatory actions, especially for URTIs treatment, and separating of medication dispensing are seemed to be crucial steps for the reform.
KEYWORDS: Community pharmacists; Dispensing doctors; Dispensing separation; General practitioners; Simulated patients ligament
This study investigates the views of general medical practitioners (GP) to the extended role of the community pharmacists (CP). A self-administered questionnaire was distributed to all private clinics (n=438) run by GPs in the state of Penang. The questionnaire asked GP's views on ideas for new services provided by community pharmacists. Three hundred and twenty-seven questionnaires were collected, giving a response rate of 74.5%. More than 50% of respondents were in favour of the community pharmacist involvement in activities of providing public health education (58.7%), contacting GPs on matters related to prescribing and prescription errors (56.0%), and referring patients who exhibit drug-related problems (53.0%). However, the respondents had a mixed opinion regarding the roles of CPs in smoking cessation programme (34.8%) and providing drug information to physicians (43.0%). Additional research is needed to explain GPs attitudes towards the acceptability of the new role of the pharmacist.
OBJECTIVES: To compare the morbidity patterns in public and private primary care clinics; determine patients' reasons for encounter (RFE) and diagnoses using the ICPC-2, and compare ten commonest diagnoses and RFEs.
METHODS: A cross-sectional study on randomly selected clinics was conducted nationwide. Doctors completed the Patient Encounter Record (PER) for systematically selected encounters for a week.
RESULTS: Response rate was 82.0% (public clinic) and 33% (private clinic) with 4262 encounters and 7280 RFE. Overall, the three commonest disease categories encountered were respiratory (37.2%), general and unspecified (29.5%), and cardiovascular diseases (22.2%). Public and private clinics handled 27% versus 50% acute cases and 20.0% versus 3.1% chronic cases i.e. 33.7 and 5.6 chronic diseases per 100 RFE respectively.
CONCLUSION: Doctors in public clinics saw more chronic and complex diseases as well as pregnancy related complaints and follow-up cases while in private clinics more acute and minor illnesses were seen. Health services should be integrated and support given to co-manage chronic diseases in both sectors.
KEYWORDS: Malaysia; Primary practice; delivery of health care; morbidity pattern; reasons for encounter
Antibiotic resistance of urinary tract pathogens has increased worldwide. The purpose of this study is to provide information regarding local resistance pattern of urinary pathogens to the commonly used antibiotics. One hundred and seventeen cases of community-acquired urinary tract infections were studied. The most common group of patients was the uncomplicated acute cystitis in women. E. coli was the most common isolate. Overall, antimicrobial susceptibility test on the organisms isolated showed a resistance of 63.0% to ampicillin, 40.1% to sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim (S-T), 14.3% to pipemidic acid, 8.6% to norfloxacin, 3.8% to cephalexin, 3.7% to amoxicillin-clavulanate, 1.0% to cefuroxime, and 1.0% to fosfomycin. Three out of five patients on ampicillin as well as two out of five patients on S-T were likely to be inadequately treated.
A survey of domestic childhood accidental injuries was conducted at a rural general practice in Arau, Perlis. Data was collected from parents or other caregivers of 171 children, aged 12 years and below, using a pretested questionnaire. Male children between the ages of 6 and 12 years were the most common group affected, with a male to female ratio of 1.7:1. The three most common accidents were injuries from falls (28%), cuts, lacerations, bruises and puncture wounds not resulting from falls (26%), and thermal injuries (22%). The most commonly affected parts of the body were the limbs. Most injuries to children between ages 4 to 12 years occurred in the house compounds, while those to children below 4 years occurred in the kitchen and other locations within the house. Major contributing factors to the injuries were the existence of unsafe home environments, the risk taking activities of the children, the presence of hazardous products in the household and unrealistic parental attitudes to injury prevention.
1171 urban general practices in East and West Malaysia were compared regarding their service profiles and practice facilities. In general, practices in both parts put important emphasis on preventive health care. More practices in East Malaysia were providing hormone replacement therapy and sexually transmitted diseases services but less were providing intrapartum care, counselling services including sexual and marital counselling and problems associated with social deviance such as alcohol and drug abuse. Although most practices in East Malaysia were solo practices, they were more comprehensive in terms of the provision of practice facilities when compared to those in West Malaysia. A greater number of them had ultrasound facilities, peak flow meters, ECG machines, computers and blood biochemistry facilities.
Eight general practitioners participated in a survey of content of general practice. This is useful as an indicator or morbidity in the community as well as of workload of general practice. A total of 3164 consultations were recorded, of which 2764 (87%) were because of an illness and the rest (13%) for other reasons like medical examinations, antenatal check, family planning advice, pregnancy tests, pap smear and vaccination. The old and the young have high consultation rates for an illness, men consulted as often as women. The most common illness seen was upper respiratory tract infections, accounting for 37% of all illnesses. Other common minor illnesses were skin infections (6%), genito-urinary infections (5%), minor musculoskeletal (6%) and gastrointestinal (6%) complaints as well as minor injuries and cuts (4%). Major disorders form an unusually low proportion (18%) of all illnesses seen, in comparison with figures from United Kingdom. The common major disorders seen were hypertension, asthma, chronic rheumatic disorders and diabetes. Circulatory disorders were remarkably rare, accounting for only 1% of illnesses. Psychological disorders, both major and minor, were also rarely seen, accounting for only 1% of illnesses which is in marked contrast with figures from the United Kingdom. Factors contributing to these notable findings are discussed.