Bogus Doctors A Risk To Public Health

2:03 AM

A toned down version is also available in The Star's Letters to the editor section.

Lately there is a trend among marketers of health and beauty products to include over the top claims of how their products can CURE certain medical diseases. Most of these claims can't be substantiated by any scientific methods. These claims are merely from TESTIMONIALS of their clients after using their products. Any inquiries made regarding these claims will be answered with accusations of the enquirer being an agent of anti religious sentiments and Western beliefs (Zionism is a favorite target).

Furthermore some of these marketers claims to have titles such as Doctor and Professor from questionable universities. Some of them even have the title of Sir without ever meeting the Queen of England! Some of the Professor titles are even conferred by certain companies instead of universities. While they deny that they are deceiving the public by portraying themselves as a medical doctor, their pamphlet seem to depict the contrary. In the eyes of the public, does a person wearing a white coat with a stethoscope around their neck look like a medical doctor? This is what is happening today.

My letter in The Star 16th January 2015



Some might say that these people are not doing any wrong as they are merely helping out to create a healthy lifestyle among Malaysians, but I have encountered a few disturbing advises given to the public from these non medical (and non PhD) doctors.

1. Diabetics should stop taking their medicine as Diabetes Mellitus is a disease of the mind and can be cured by a special water. All medicines prescribed by medical doctors causes hypoglycaemia and it will only do more harm.

They do have a point here. Oral hypoglycaemic agents DO cause hypoglycaemia, that is why proper monitoring is required to ensure that the dosage is adequate and side effects are identified. They failed to note that HYPERglycaemia may not have acute symptoms. Symptoms may only appear once it is too late; when a person gets diabetic ketoacidosis and renal failure.

2. Hypertensive patients need not take any anti hypertensives even though their blood pressure is 200/100 mmHg.

3. A thalassemic patient with hemoglobin of 4 g/dl (severely anaemic) does not need a blood transfusion.

These dangerous advises are making it hard for doctors to manage patients adequately. There has been countless patients who has been lost to follow up after following these dangerous advises, only to turn up at the emergency department with fatal consequences. In my short service history, I have seen countless patients with haemorrhagic stroke, diabetic ketoacidosis and acute renal failure due to non compliance to treatment. On further questioning, these very patients have been seeking advise from these non medical doctors. Despite this, I have yet to see any one of these doctors claiming responsibility for their mistakes. I have not seen any case of litigation against these doctors.

I do NOT have any interest here. I am just a normal medical doctor. I can easily just say "these patients are looking for trouble themselves and I shouldn't care" and wash my hands. But as a medical professional, my job is not only to treat but also to prevent the population from getting sick. Prevention includes managing chronic diseases adequately.

MOfrust

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