Khamis, 14 Januari 2010
Rabu, 13 Januari 2010
KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 12 (Bernama) -- Some 200,000 doses of Influenza A(H1N1) vaccine will be allocated for high-risk groups such as pregnant women, children, the elderly and people with chronic diseases beginning next month.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said they could get vaccinated with the vaccine for free at the government hospitals and clinics.
Speaking to reporters after visiting Tung Shin Hospital here today, Liow said the balance of 300,000 doses of H1N1 vaccine from the 400,000 ordered from Britain would be received at the end of this month.
"We will conduct (100,000) vaccinations on the frontline workers first, and then the high-risk groups like pregnant women, the obese, and those with high blood pressure and so on.
"They are our priority before the vaccine is distributed for other groups in preventing and curbing H1N1 infections," he said.
On the H1N1 situation in the country, Liow said it was under control, with the ministry abiding by the World Health Organisation's directive for continuous close monitoring of all cases of flu.
"We are worried if the H1N1 virus will mutate. But our monitoring have so far not shown that the virus has mutates into other forms."
He said the district health officers had also been instructed to obtain all flu samples for further tests.
On another matter, Liow said the ministry would work at enabling private doctors to serve as locums at government hospitals and clinics as soon as possible.
"They told me that they had applied to serve as locums but they never got invited. After our dialogue session with the Malaysian Medical Association last Friday, we will work together at improving health services in the country."
Asked whether the private doctors would want a higher payment as locums at the government hospitals, Liow said the current payment was reasonable at RM80 per hour.
Earlier, he handed over two mock cheques for RM2 million each to Tung Shin Hospital and the Chinese Maternity Hospital for the purchase of equipment and medicines.
Liow called for the setting up of more non-profit-based hospitals to enable the low-income group to seek treatment at such hospitals.
Isnin, 11 Januari 2010
KOTA BAHARU, Jan 11 (Bernama) -- Tualang honey, mostly found in lowland rain forests of Peninsular Malaysia, has the potential to become a supplement for cancer therapy, especially breast cancer, said Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) Prof Madya Dr Nik Soriani Yaacob.
Dr Nik Soriani, USM Kubang Kerian Pathology Department's Head of Department, said initial research found honey from the Tualang trees had a very high potential to be used for proliferation of cancer cells and destroy 'bad' cells to prevent them from spreading.
"However, the research is still in the early stages and need a more in-depth study to determine honey can kill active cancer cells," said Dr Nik Soriani who presented a paper on the activities of Tualang Honey as an Anti-cancer supplement, at the 2nd International Conference on the Medicinal Use of Honey.
About 300 delegates attended the two-day seminar organised by the Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority (FAMA), to discuss the qualities and nutritional values of honey in the medicinal field and explore various ways of popularizing the product.
Dr Nik Soriani said the next step would be to study whether Tualang honey can kill active cancer cells or would be able to reduce the dosage of drugs and radiation used to kill cancer cells.
"The study is to identify whether honey can reduce or prevent cancer because earlier studies have shown honey had components like anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer," said Dr Nik Soriani.
She added that studies had also shown that Tualang honey had anti-cancer qualities and significant cytotoxic effect on cancer cells cultured in the lab.
"Cancer cells treated with Tualang honey went through a apoptosis process where cancer cells die, a process that normally does not happen, and Tualang honey can also expedite the effect of tamoxifen that is used to kill cancer cells," she said.
Meanwhile, USM Clinical Research Dean Prof Dr Nor Hayati Othman said FAMA had contributed 1.3 metric tones of honey for the research, especially for research on cancer.
Through research since 2006, Tualang honey has been identified as among the purest form of honey and probably better than some of the imported honey.
"Honey that is not in its purest form can cause side effects in the long run and must be avoided," said Dr Nor Hayati.
Tualang honey is extracted from honeycombs found atop Malaysia's tallest tree - Tualang tree - which grows to an astonishing height of more than 250m (about 30 storeys) and found in East Asian rainforests and is mostly found in Peninsular Malaysia, southern Thailand, northeastern Sumatra, Borneo and Palawan.
The towering tree is best known as home of the Apis dorsatas or Asian rock bees, the world's largest honeybees and the most ferocious, who build their disc-shaped honeycombs on horizontal branches of the tree and each tree can have more than 100 honeycombs.
Some honeycombs are two metres long and can contain as many as 30,000 bees.
They are said to prefer the Tualang tree because the branches start at least 30 metres above the ground and moreover, the trunk is slippery, making it hard for honey-loving sun bears to climb.
Khamis, 7 Januari 2010
KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 7 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said private doctors needed not worry that their earnings would be affected with the existence of 1Malaysia clinics.
He said this was because the 50 1Malaysia clinics set up nationwide would concentrate on giving patients normal medical examinations like checking blood pressure level for hypertension, and sugar level.
"Actually, they (private doctors) will not be affected because the cases from here (1Malaysia clinics) will be referred to them for further examination or treatment, or the patients will then go to the government hospitals.
"So, I do not regard this as a win-lose situation but actually a win-win situation...it's easy for the people while the private clinics will receive patients as usual," he told reporters after launching the Kerinchi 1Malaysia Clinic in Lembah Pantai here Thursday.
The prime minister was replying to a question on the concern voiced by the Malaysian Medical Association (MAA) over the existence of 1Malaysia clinics as they felt it could affect their income.
He said Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai would hold a dialogue session with MMA members to assure them on the matter.
However, he stressed that 1Malaysia clinics were established solely for the benefit of the people.
"It is all for the interest of the rakyat who are our number one concern... this is what the government stands for," he said, adding that there were already 44 1Malaysia clinics in operation nationwide.
Najib said establishing the 44 clinics within two months was a record for the Health Ministry under the 2010 Budget, as the target of setting up 50 such clinics was almost met within such a short time.
On the proposal to increase the number of 1Malaysia clinics, he said the government would evaluate the need based on the public response and the effects of the new approach in expanding public health care.
"If the response and effects are good, the clinics will possibly be increased...but let us evaluate first as 50 (clinics) is a big number. And we also need to determine the effectiveness of these clinics and this new approach. From there, we can decide," he said.
Najib said most of the 1Malaysia clinics were located in town areas as outside urban areas were 2,000 rural clinics which had existed since the country's independence.
He said the government had allocated RM10 million for the 50 1Malaysia clinics this year, but the amount was not for the buildings but for the internal fittings and medicines only.
Earlier, Najib who is also Finance Minister, said the setting up of the clinics was truly in line with the 1Malaysia concept mooted by him, as they were open to all races, especially from the low-income group.
He said the effort was introduced and implemented by the government to ensure that quality health services in this country could be justly, equitably and wholly accessed by the people. "That's the government's aspiration," he added.
"And access to the service (from 1Malaysia clinics) definitely involves a minimum cost, that is, RM1...the cheapest in the world or can be regarded as almost free.
"Besides that, patients don't have to wait long as the 1Malaysia clinics will provide fast service. In this situation, the Health Ministry also benefits as the government hospitals will be less crowded with patients needing just basic treatment."
Najib said the 1Malaysia clinics would operate daily, seven days a week, from 10am to 10pm, and manned by paramedics comprising medical assistants and trained nurses.