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HomeAsian NewsThe Perils of Medical Malpractice in Malaysia

The Perils of Medical Malpractice in Malaysia

By: Murray Hunter

The sudden demise of Nur Muhammad Tajrid Zahalan final week from problems led to by alleged medical negligence in a Kuala Lumpur non-public hospital in 2015 continues to reverberate by means of Malaysia’s medical system, with complainants nonetheless searching for justice seven years after the process that paralyzed him.

In keeping with his demise certificates, Nur Muhammad died from extreme septicemia resulting from problems brought on by paralysis from the allegedly botched surgical procedure after years of struggling. He developed abdomen ulcers he apparently couldn’t really feel and the abdomen perforated, with the contents leaching into his stomach, inflicting septicemia.

The 38-year-old businessman’s case was belatedly heard in June by the Malaysian Medical Council after years of delays. It ended with the surgeon, Tikfu Gee, launched from three costs of gross skilled misconduct after the MMC refused to just accept what complainants described as proof that Gee’s protection assertion might have contained falsities.

Gee was the final of 4 physicians at Prince Courtroom Hospital – Ramesh Kumar, Deepak Singh, and Advisor Neurosurgeon Jagdeep Nanra – to face self-discipline within the case and who have been referred to the medical authorities. All have been cleared regardless of what Nur Mohammad earlier than his demise stated was medical malpractice or negligence. 

The case is much from remoted. At one level, medical negligence was named as some of the prevalent causes of demise in Malaysia within the publication Points in medical regulation and ethics. Nonetheless, the difficulty has been ignored by the authorities, permitting medical doctors to make use of the MMC as safety in opposition to misconduct. In keeping with the Ministry of Well being’s official figures, medical malpractice incidents have risen dramatically over the previous few years. Circumstances involving wrongful surgical procedure, unintended retention of international objects and falls whereas in hospital reached almost 10,000 circumstances in 2020.   

Taking medical negligence circumstances to the courtroom system is extraordinarily pricey and the technicalities extraordinarily troublesome. As well as, the Federal Courtroom has dominated that non-public hospitals don’t have any basic legal responsibility for any negligence carried out by medical doctors working inside their services.  This leaves sufferers with the choice of constructing a police report, going to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Fee (MACC), or making a report back to the Ministry of Well being. Most circumstances are referred to the MMC for investigation.

The litigation success charge is so poor, nevertheless, that only a few legal professionals advise their shoppers to pursue circumstances. Compensation often fails to cowl authorized prices. As well as, plaintiffs are severely hampered in acquiring entry to their medical data till a case is able to take to courtroom. That is partly why the MMC medical tribunal was established to listen to and entry these circumstances.

Medical doctors shield their very own

The medical tribunals, nevertheless, are filled with members with conflicts of curiosity with the circumstances they adjudicate, as earlier Asia Sentinel tales have detailed. In impact, medical doctors are investigated and judged by their friends with intricate, intertwined relationships that probably intervene with impartiality and objectivity. No authorized practitioners, members of advocacy teams, or public representatives are allowed on the council.

In keeping with the MMC’s 2016 annual report, 112 circumstances have been put earlier than Preliminary Investigation Tribunals by the MMC president, who was additionally the Director Common of the MOH in each 2015 and 2016. Of these, in 2015 81.7 % have been dismissed, whereas 59.3 % have been dismissed on the council degree. In 2016, 79 % have been dismissed by PICs, whereas 41.9 % have been dismissed on the council degree.  The MMC stopped publishing case knowledge of their annual studies from 2018 on.

That is an alarmingly low variety of circumstances investigated and reviewed contemplating the variety of circumstances reported by the MOH again in 2020. The previous president of the Malaysian Medical Council Dr. Mohd Ismail Merican in 2018 publicly warned of bias and prejudice by council members over self-discipline {and professional} misconduct, intimidation by senior council members, and lack of transparency inside council processes, simply after MMC stopped reporting the variety of circumstances and outcomes.

Justice denied in Nur Muhammad’s case

Nu Mohammad charged previous to his demise that he was left completely disabled in 2015 in what may solely be described as a medical malpractice nightmare of negligence, pointless surgical procedure, false expense costs and insurance coverage claims, and different misuses after coming into the hospital complaining of again ache and different minor signs as detailed in a collection of Asia Sentinel tales in 2019.

A 3-year investigation by the Malaysian Medical Council into the affair, which occurred at Prince Courtroom Medical Middle in Kuala Lumpur, cross-examined 12 medical doctors and referred costs in opposition to 4 physicians.

Geoffrey Williams, who introduced the 2015 criticism on behalf of his lifeless good friend, defined, “Tikfu Gee was charged with attempting to pressure pointless costly endoscopy procedures onto Nur Muhammad when he was nonetheless in extreme ache and recovering from main surgical procedure. The case discovered that Gee needed to be bodily stopped from attempting to see Tajrid and was finally blocked by a nurse and the first surgeon coping with the case.”

Gee was requested to see Nur Muhammad urgently simply after midnight on July 18, 2015 to assist diagnose the reason for his excruciating ache. Nonetheless, Gee present up, and at 7.45 am, almost seven hours later, a nurse lastly known as him to get him to reply.

The nurses had recorded a number of complaints of extreme ache through the interval from simply after midnight to the early morning. Williams had knowledgeable the MMC of all of this, however Tikfu stated in his protection assertion that nobody had known as him.

Williams was requested to current proof that the nurse had known as Gee. Williams did so on June 13, per week forward of the listening to, which included the official hospital data which have been additionally obtainable to Gee.

In keeping with Williams, these data show Gee had been telephoned and that he had additionally been known as urgently seven hours earlier by the first surgeon Ramesh Kumar, however by no means confirmed.  

The data additionally present that Gee’s written assertion, which was additionally learn out by Gee and recorded by the  MMC, was false.  Nonetheless, Williams alleged that the chairman, Lim Joo Kiong dominated that the MMC wouldn’t settle for the proof. Williams requested the MMC rethink, at which period Williams claims the chairman requested him to depart the room and depart his belongings.

On his return, Lim stated the council wouldn’t settle for the proof.  Though Williams referred the chairman and the council members to the MMC Standing Orders, which state that each one proof have to be heard, the council members merely refused.

On the finish of the listening to, Gee was cleared by majority determination, saying the three costs had not been confirmed.

“I’ve made a police report and given my assertion to PDRM to ask them to research whether or not the proof submitted by Tikfu Gee is fake or not and whether or not there are any legal points in using false proof by Chairman Dr. Lim Joo Kiong and the entire members of the MMC statutory disciplinary listening to,” Williams stated.

The present well being minister Khairy Jamaluddin and Director-Common of the MOH Dr. Noor Hisham Abdullah have been conscious of this downside for numerous years. Neither has answered emailed questions over the difficulty.



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