Klinik 1Malaysia, or 1Malaysia Clinic is a project launched under the leadership of Prime Minister of Malaysia, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in budget 2010. RM10 million (USD 3million)has been allocated to this project and the aim is to build 50 clinics throughout Malaysia.
These clinics are run by Medical Assistants(MA) and nurses, with no doctors. They open for 12 hours a day, and seven days a week, from 10am to 10pm, providing basic medical care, for example wound dressing, simple pain relieve, cough mixture etc. Patients need to pay RM1.00 for each visit. However, 1Malaysia Clinic do not provide sick certificate, antibiotics, or any other pain relievers other than Paracetamol(PCM) and Mefenemic acid(Ponstan).
These clinics are situated mainly at residential or commercial area, which are readily accessible by the public, and public find it convenient to get treatment if they have mild cough and cold.
However, there are problems arised too from 1Malaysia Clinic:
1. Inappropriate hypertension and diabetic control - Due to the different training received by a qualified doctor and Medical Assistant, the disease are not managed optimally, leading to various complications, such as diabetic foot, hypertensive emergency, stroke etc.
2. Insufficient medications - Medical Assistants has a limit in their prescriptions. Thus, many patients are managed partially, and has to do second or third visit due to unresolved illness/symptoms. And some are resorted to going to nearest clinic/hospital with doctors to get certain medications, leading in time and resources loss.
3. Impact to Private Practitioners - Needless to say, cheap rates of RM1 at 1Malaysia Clinic, the private practitioner's' business are going down hill, with some of the clinic seeing 10-20 patients only per day.
4. No sick certificate - Medical Assistants are not allowed to issue sick certificates, thus patients will need to do another visit to a doctor, in order to get a sick certificate.
No doubt 1Malaysia Clinics provide easy and cheap treatment to the public, but there are voices from different experts on how to improve it.
For instance, instead of opening new 1Malaysia Clinic, the government can issue coupons/vouchers to the public, and let the public use the coupon to visit nearest Private Practitioner. In this way not only the public can enjoy same cheap rates , the underlying chronic conditions(e.g. hypertension and diabetes) can be monitored and managed more appropriately. Apart from that, this can help the current dying GP market, a win-win situation where both parties benefit.
Other than that, government can build proper polyclinic and equip it with doctors/nurses, and appropriate laboratory and pharmacy support. This would definitely improve the current health care services.
LIST of all the 1Malaysia Clinics please click HERE.