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Saturday, April 30, 2016

MMA queries IGP's release of suspect's medical records


The Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) said that It is "not correct" for police chief Khalid Abu Bakar to release information about the mental state of the suspect in the temple vandalism incident in Ipoh.
The medical profession's governing body argued that even if all legal steps were followed in obtaining the information, the subsequent release of this information to the media was procedurally wrong.
He explained that this information should have been kept confidential from media and only used in a court of law, as medical records are restricted under the Private Healthcare Facilities and Services Act (PHFSA).
"We are concerned by the IGP's statement. How was information about the doctor's medical history obtained?
"The PHFSA restricts the release of a patient's medical information," MMA president Dr Ashok Philip pointed out in a statement today.
Now the suspect is being publicly branded as "mad", he lamented.
"Following the principle that everyone is innocent until proven guilty, sensitive information like this should have been treated strictly according to the law," Philip said.
MMA also urged private medical practices to strictly follow the provisions of the PHFSA regarding patient records, and not to be pressured into taking shortcuts, regardless of the circumstances.
Philip also added that MMA stands behind the deputy director-general of health Dr S Jeyaindran's remarks on what the Health Ministry knew about the suspect's state of health, describing it as accurate and factual.
The suspect in this case was a doctor, who, according to the IGP, had been fired from Ipoh Hospital due to mental problems.
However, health deputy director-general Dr S Jeyaindran reportedly said that the suspect was an intern at a government hospital until he resigned and was not known to have suffered from any mental disorder.
Khalid had later said that Jeyaindran had merely referred to government hospitals and did not refer to records from the private healthcare facility where he was treated.
The top cop claimed that the suspect had undergone mental health treatment since 2013 at the KPJ Ipoh Specialist Hospital.
The suspect had reportedly run amok last Sunday, around 5pm, and broke into the Sree Muneeswaran Amman temple along Jalan Hospital, Ipoh, where he destroyed several idols, while supposedly wielding a parang and hammer.
The individual later crashed his car into a bus stop not far from the temple while trying to escape and was subsequently arrested by the police.
He was charged yesterday under Section 295 of the Penal Code for defiling a house of worship, and Section 6 of the Corrosive and Explosive Substances and Offensive Weapons Act 1958 for carrying offensive weapons in public places. -Mkini

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