Patients who have received medicines from government clinics and hospitals but do not use them are advised to return them to the clinics or hospitals to reduce wastage.
Deputy Health Minister Hilmi Yahaya said patients can bring along with them medicines that are not being used when they come for their appointment to help doctors revise the prescription and give other medicines.
He said the ministry has issued instructions to doctors and pharmacists so that they give appropriate advice to patients on the use of medicines.
“The Ministry of Health is gravely concerned about the action of some patients who do not use the medicines provided by government clinics or hospitals.
“It is a waste, because the drugs are not only of good quality but bought with a large allocation,” he told reporters after officiating the closing of the Visit by Trainee Paramedics to Villages programme (Ziarah Kasih Sayang Pelatih Paramedik Masuk Kampung) and Food Fit Fun Fair in Sungai Sumun today.
Dr Hilmi said that last year, the government spent about RM2.2 billion to buy original and generic medicines.
“Besides avoiding wastage, we do not want medicines that are not used to endanger the lives of children, especially if they consume the drug,” he said.
He drew attention when he said the ministry received information that there were patients who disposed off medicines once outside the clinics or hospitals because they see a doctor merely to get a medical certificate.
Dr Hilmi said 380 trainees from Sultan Azlan Shah Integrated Science College, Ipoh; Sungai Buloh Hospital and Penang International Dental College participated in today’s programme.
He said the trainees provided free medical screenings to about 1,500 residents from 37 villages around Bagan Datuk.
“This is the third programme organised after the ones in Balik Pulau in Penang and Pekan, Pahang and after this we will continue the programme in Muar, Johor,” he said. –Bernama