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Headlines and deadlines

Hong Kong: Concerns over safety of drug dispensing

The Acting Secretary for Food and Health is urging all healthcare professionals to abide by guidelines to ensure patients receive the correct drugs to treat their condition.

The campaign, which is being led by Professor Gabriel Leung, began following the death of a patient after she was given the wrong type of medication whilst in hospital. Poor communication between the staff on duty has been cited as a contributing factor in the run-up to the mistake.

Professor Leung has urged the hospital management team to conduct a thorough review of the report and identify some learning points to make sure the incident is not repeated. The health authority said it will check that the hospital involved does act on the learning points from the report in a bid to improve patient safety.

www.news.gov.hk

Poor communication between the staff on duty has been cited as a contributing factor

Malaysia: Anger over human organs trade

An appeal to exonerate Malaysia of any involvement in the illegal practice of human organ trading has been lodged by a group of kidney doctors.

A joint report was made by Malaysian Society of Transplantation president Dr Harjit Singh, Malaysian Society of Nephrology president Dr Wong Hin Seng, and Consumer Association of Subang and Shah Alam (CASSA) president Jacob George.

It follows reports last September that Bangladeshi police are on the trail of an international organ trafficking syndicate, with Malaysia rumoured to be one of the countries implicated in the trade. Police said that people from remote Bangladeshi villages had been flown to various locations in south-east Asia to have their kidneys harvested, being paid thousands of US dollars for doing so.

The Health Ministry said that it would work with police to investigate the claims

The Health Ministry said that it would work with police to investigate the claims. Dr Singh said: “We should not allow Malaysia’s name to be defamed in such a manner. We do not have any evidence to show whether anyone (here) has ever done this.” 

www.freemalaysiatoday.com

Singapore: Advertising guidelines under review

The Ministry of Health (MOH) has announced that it is to review its publicity guidelines after receiving more than a hundred complaints this year about healthcare advertisements.

The complaints, which have been filed by members of the public, patients and doctors, mainly focus on aesthetic services

It will be the first review of the guidelines, which are contained in the Private Hospitals and Medical Clinics Act, since 2004. The complaints, which have been filed by members of the public, patients and doctors, mainly focus on aesthetic services.

The Act states that healthcare institutions can state only factual information in advertisements; they are forbidden from displaying information in such a way as to solicit or encourage the use of services. Words and phrases such as “discounts”, “preferential rates” and “valid for (date/time period)” cannot be used.

The Singapore Medical Association (SMA) has said that new forms of marketing – such as search engine marketing, and Facebook and Twitter – should also be held accountable.

The MOH has not set a date for when it expects the review to be completed.

www.singaporelawwatch.sg

NEW – medicolegal factsheets

MPS produces a range of medicolegal factsheets for members, which offer general advice on a number of key issues that are central to the provision of safe practice.

Now members in Malaysia, Hong Kong and Singapore can benefit from a number of new factsheets that have been published especially for them – and which are now available on the MPS website under “Casebook and resources”.

The topics covered include: confidentiality, safe prescribing, chaperones, perverse incentives, medical records, professional boundaries and aesthetic practice. Each factsheet also contains links to key legislation.

MPS position statement: Teleradiology

Teleradiology is the process whereby an image is taken in one location and then transmitted to another for reading, analysis, interpretation and provision of a report by the radiologist at the other location.

Members are expected to advise MPS if they are participating in teleradiology and restrict the practice to their respective local jurisdiction. If an indemnity risk arises from that practice then the appropriate grade for that jurisdiction will be charged.

Members who wish to practise teleradiology in circumstances where the image is taken in another jurisdiction must both be appropriately registered and have professional indemnity cover in the jurisdiction where the image is taken. MPS may be able to offer benefits of membership in these circumstances and members should contact MPS for advice.

Members should not assume that their current MPS membership will offer such an indemnity.

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