Angry Doctor

Thursday, January 15, 2009


OK, time to get back to the less important things in life...

The Ministry of Health is "conducting a six-week public consultation exercise from January 14 to February 25 to get feedback on proposed amendments to the Medical Registration Act".

You can find out more about the proposed amendments at the ministry's website here, and give your opinions here.

angry doc will be giving the proposed amendments a read and plans to submit his opinions, and he urges his readers to do the same - after all, we are not here to just talk about 'true love' are we?

angry doc's main interest amongst the many changes proposed are with those concerning professional self-regulation and disciplinary proceedings. Regular readers will know that angry doc holds a conservative opinion when it comes to the issue of self-regulation; will the proposed proviso for "appointing a judge, legal officer or senior lawyer as chairperson" of the Disciplinary Tribual delegate professional knowledge to a less important place than "legal issues, both procedural and substantive"? angry doc is concerned, and he thinks all doctors should be too.

Whether or not you agree with angry doc's view on professional self-regulation for doctors, if you have concerns regarding the issue, or regarding the competence of your family doctor or newly-registered doctors, or whether existing regulations ensure that your doctors are made to keep up with the latest developments in the field of medicine, this is the time to voice them and perhaps make suggestions on how you think MOH can do better. It will probably have more effect than commenting on this blog...

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  • What do you think the impact of the feedback will have. I believe that most people do not have the confidence of this feedback system which is more like a tool that they can then use and say that they have conducted? a feedback and made the amendments on this basis.

    What is the feedback for? Will this be collated and reviewed and amaendments made based on this? Id there are major opposition in the feedback, will these be heard? I am seceptical.

    Kudos to you for following up on this.

    By Blogger Soojenn, At January 16, 2009 6:05 pm  

  • Certainly there is room for doubt as not all feedback are available for viewing, but if we dismiss it as a chance to make our views matter without giving it a chance we do ourselves a disservice - after all, the amount of time and effort required on our part to input our views is minimal.

    Even if the intention is to ignore all feedback, that intention may change if a sufficient number of people express a certain view. We need to raise awareness to the issues, generate interest and discussion, and if people make the connection that their healthcare experience is linked to legislation, and that legislation is something we all have a vested interest and a say over (whether in the form of an online feedback or election), then we may be able to effect changes that we want.

    By Blogger angry doc, At January 16, 2009 7:50 pm  

  • Feedback to government portals are all read, collated and serious consideration is given to all of them and I do believe that the Minister gets a summary of all the feedback collated.

    If there are enough people concerned with a particular issue, I'm sure the government will consider it carefully and be prepared to respond with a very good answer should they decide to proceed with an unpopular change.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At January 18, 2009 11:23 am  

  • So finally, it has come to pass - Self-regulation has failed and now we will have a judge or lawyer chairing the DC.

    IT seems sad that the Medical Council has fallen before the Law Soc (You don't hear about doctors being asked to judge recalcitrant lawyers!)

    But then again, we were warned about this a long time ago....



    ps What do you think about the changes in SCDF policy in today's ST re:pts with Acute myocardial infarcts?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At January 18, 2009 7:20 pm  

  • Thanks for visiting, teacher. (Yes, I call you teacher.)

    I still hope it is not too late; maybe if we can gather enough voices we can forestall this, but of course it just makes us look guilty in the eyes of laymen...

    I see in this latest move the same thinking which led to the withdrawal of the Guideline of Fees - a 'democratisation of healthcare', a belief that laymen have the rights and abilities to understand and make judgements on issues pertaining to a professional field - after all, don't they all have bodies and have all fallen sick before?

    As elitist as it sounds I think we as a profession should fight this. By all means give the council powers to impose heavier and more varied penalties so we don't look like we are always protecting our own (a maximum fine of $10,000 is laughable, frankly), but leave matters in the hands of doctors - if a case requires legal knowledge, employ the advice of legal experts (as judges employ the advice of medical experts in courts), or if it is a 'legal' case, take it to the courts and out of the council.

    By Blogger angry doc, At January 18, 2009 8:02 pm  

  • I have not read about the SCDF policy change; I'll check it out later and see if I am qualified to comment.

    By Blogger angry doc, At January 18, 2009 10:17 pm  

  • I take a different view. It is probably better to have a legal person chairing the DC. The medical communty is small and doctors are subject to all kinds of subtle and not-so-subtle pressures. Given that the finding of the SMC in the Simon Shorvon case had been completely thrown out in the UK, I wonder if the outcome would have been very different had it been a judge who chaired the proceedings.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At January 26, 2009 10:22 am  

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