Updated: Doctors’ Blog roll

We have updated our Doctors’ Blog roll with the addition of Dr. Nilesh Anand’s Blog on Advice & Experiments At The Intersection of Medicine, Life and Entrepreneurship

Are you a Malaysian medical doctor who maintains a blog? If you want us to list it for you, feel free to contact us

Posted in - Site updates, - Updated Links Tagged with:

Is Marrying the Rapist to the Victim the Malaysian Way?

stock-photo-stop-child-abuse-sign-words-clouds-shape-isolated-in-white-background-121620967

The recent judicial decision in East Malaysia seems to have escaped the attention of some media outlets. Another rapist married his child victim and was allowed to get away with the sexual abuse in court. The Borneo Post (http://www.theborneopost.com/2016/07/28/statutory-rape-case-accused-discharged-as-he-married-victim/) carried the distressing account of a 28 year old man who clearly took advantage of a 14 year old child and was freed by court. The report states the judge’s decision was “Since the complainant and the victim of the subject matter of this case wish to withdraw the complaint against the accused on the ground that she is now married to him, there is no necessity to proceed further with this case. “Therefore the accused is discharged not amounting to acquittal.”

It’s amazing that, despite the outcry from many on previous such instances, our legal system continues to favour the rapist and not the victim. This decision by our legal system, in ruling in support of a rapist and sex abuser needs to be reviewed. Or systems must not continue to fail children.

Under the Penal Code this girl is under 16 years of age and it is obviously statutory rape; which means there is no defence. The judge would be required by law to rule in the favour of the victim and punish this rapist. If withdrawal of a police report makes this difficult the Child Act could be used. Under the Child Act this person is under 18 and sexually abused. The Child Act is a mandatory reporting system, which means that withdrawing the police report is meaningless. The Welfare, Health and Police are mandated by law to take action. And the judge can rule in the favour of the victim against the perpetrator.

I wonder also who it is that allowed this marriage to take place and solemnised it? That authority also needs to be investigated by the Welfare Department for aiding and abetting sexual abuse.

I hope the Welfare Department will act immediately to rescue this child under the Child Act. She requires urgent and sustained emotional and psychological support and counselling. Her parents are also obviously not supporting her rights and needs.

Often the legal profession suggest that the rest of us are poor at understanding the law. But we know justice and injustice when we see it. We have witnessed a number of rulings that concern us. From adults who put fingers in the vagina of children being let off, to the continual abuse of children by marrying them to adults. The child in this situation will now have to live with her rapist.

The legal system must regain some sense of decorum and earn back the respect of the public.
We look to the legal system to protect children not harm them.

Thank you.

Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Senior Consultant Paediatrician
Head Paediatric Department, Hospital RPB Ipoh, Perak

Posted in - Ethics, - Guest Tagged with: , ,

Do we really need a Government run Health insurance scheme?

health-insurance

The Health Minister recently announced

PUTRAJAYA: The Health Ministry is seriously considering a national health insurance scheme which is run and supported by the government, the minister, Dr S Subramaniam, said yesterday.
He said the scheme would be voluntary and an alternative to private health care.
“There will be no private player (insurance company) and no profit motive. The government health insurance scheme will evolve according to time,” he told reporters.
“It is too early for me to give details such as the structure the scheme and so on. I am just throwing it out as a concept and let the relevant party discuss it.”
The move to introduce the government healthcare insurance scheme did not mean that the government plans to stop the current public healthcare delivery system.
“The government is still responsible to the public in providing the public healthcare system that everyone is utilising now. The public healthcare delivery will still continue and will not change.”
However, about half of Malaysians currently turn to private clinics and private hospitals for medical attention.
Subramaniam said the ministry had been studying the government healthcare insurance scheme concept for the past few months and analysing the challenges involved in implementing such a scheme.
“Once we are confident, we will offer it to the public,” he further said.
The ministry came up with the idea of introducing the government health insurance scheme as it was aware that one of the challenges for Malaysians was paying for healthcare services.
“Such a situation can get people into financial catastrophe. The government healthcare insurance scheme may just be the answer.”

Do you think the Government should be running a competing Health insurance scheme alongside the other Health insurance options available to the public?
I seriously doubt this is a good idea. Talk is easy but implementation will be very difficult.
Who is going to run this? Where will the funding come from? As they say, the devil is in the details.

Our take is that instead of running a parallel health insurance scheme the Government should instead regulate the existing Health insurance industry. Authorities should stick to doing what they do best – regulate.

1) Make Health insurance affordable by making sure premiums are reasonable
2) Make sure that insurance claims are not obstructed or delayed but instead paid up on time
3) Make sure that people with pre-existing illnesses and all ages (including the elderly) are not denied insurance cover
4) Come up with a website which helps people make comparisons and choices on available health insurance schemes (something like the US Affordable Healthcare website)

We blogged quite a bit on Health Insurance Reforms so instead of sounding like a broken record, please read our previous posts.

Posted in - Nation Tagged with: ,

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