October 18, 2010

Demand-Side Organomics

In The Star, the Health Minister describes the shortage of donor organs for ill people on waiting lists.

He attributes the shortage to people's unwillingness to donate organs.

People may indeed be unwilling to donate their organs but why do so many people require new organs?

The Health Minister should do some "Demand-side organomics" to reduce the need for new organs.

Many of the new kidneys may be required due to diabetes.

The Health Minister should act to reduce the sugar intake of Malaysians and also to educate diabetic Malaysians on proper control and monitoring of their blood sugar.

Many of the new livers may be required due to reactions to medicines, some herbal medicines and antibiotics can cause liver damage.

Patients may be poorly informed by clinics regarding medicines they have been given and suffer liver damage from inadvertent over-dosage of Paracetamol.

Too few doctors explain to patients about medicines and their side effects. Too few patients ask questions of doctors regarding their health and their medicines.

Doctors and patients must act in partnership and there must be emphasis on maintaining health, not simply going to hospital or clinic ONLY when become ill.

Medical school's curricula must include the role of the doctor as educator of patients. Doctors must be trained how to effectively communicate with patients.

It's a matter of national urgency. Healthcare costs are rising, ill people are less productive workers, if many people are ill there will be a big drain on the economy of Malaysia.

Health Minister, Health Ministry, Medical Schools, Doctors, members of the Public, act NOW to prevent catastrophe!

Thank you.

Written by Pakac Luteb