Staggered appointment system for all govt clinics

SEREMBAN: All government clinics, including 1Malaysia facilities, have been told to introduce a staggered appointment system for repeat patients to reduce congestion.

Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said this was important as one of the main grouses from patients, especially those with chronic ailments, was the long waiting period before they could see a doctor.

“Since most of these patients choose to come in the mornings, they have no choice but to wait longer before they can see the doctor,” he said in a directive to all state health offices.

Patients with ailments such as hypertension, diabetes, asthma, cardiac-related diseases and other acute illnesses, return for appointments between one and three months depending on the severity of each case.

Dr Noor Hisham said although the ministry had introduced the staggered appointment system in some of its facilities, it needs to be implemented at all clinics nationwide including the women and children’s clinics for the people’s convenience.

“It is my hope that those in charge of a particular facility will continue to monitor how long it takes the patients to see the doctor under the staggered system,” he said.

Under the staggered system, patients would only be required to be present 30 minutes before the appointment time stated in their medical cards.

After registering, a medical team will pre-examine the patient by checking his or her blood pressure as well as other routine procedures such as recording the body temperature, weight and height and other necessary examination.

Only after this will the patient be referred to the doctor and then given prescription for his medication and next appointment date.

Source: The Star