Medical association hails bid to implement electronic medical system


PETALING JAYA: The Association of Private Hospitals of Malaysia lauds the move to allow doctors in private and public hospitals to access medical reports on a single platform.

Its president Datuk Dr Kuljit Singh (pic) said this would be convenient for doctors should patients decide to switch treatment from private to public healthcare facilities or vice versa.

He lauded the government’s plans to implement the Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system across all hospitals.

“About 70% of government hospitals do not use EMR system, so retrieving a patient’s previous medical records will take time.

“It is high time Malaysia made these records available electronically, but the data should be extended to include private hospitals as well,” he said.

This would enable patients to continue their treatment or seek a second opinion at a private healthcare facility seamlessly, he said.

“Right now, when patients want to cross over from private to public healthcare or vice versa, they have to start all over again with the diagnosis.

“This is a waste of time and cost, and it could be dangerous to their health as well,” he said.

He said access to the medical records would only be granted with the patient’s consent to overcome the issue of privacy.

“The methodology on how this can be done must be looked into as we need to consider the patient’s confidentiality and safety,” he said.

One way this could be done would be for the patients to provide their identity cards and to sign a permission form.

He added that having the medical records available on a shared platform would be in line with the government’s vision of strengthening the public-private partnership in the Malaysian healthcare sector.

“This would benefit public hospitals as they could also easily access their patient’s medical records from the private sector,” he said.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad had earlier announced that the ministry planned to implement the EMR system in stages at government hospitals and clinics nationwide.

He had said the government had completed a working paper to share and transfer patients’ electronic medical records across its healthcare facilities.