Privatization of Medical Service

Privatization of medical services is not a new phenomena in this country. As a result, new private hospitals are build every year. Even small towns have their own private hospital. This gives rise to certain misconception about government hospital. People living in rural areas believe that private hospitals are better than government hospital. They see only the rich can afford to seek treatment from private hospitals, therefore the service must be better than government hospitals.

What they fail to realize is that some of residential areas supposed to be resided by ‘the rich’ or the working class people such as Shah Alam and PJ do not have government hospital. So, people have to go to the nearest private hospital. Since going to private is a prestige, people living in rural areas have to sell everything they have, in order to get treatment from the prestigious private hospital.

Worst still, in a place like Alor Star, the government hospital doesn’t have a critical service to do open heart surgery and cancer treatment. Patients have to be referred to Penang and even Kubang Kerian to be treated. It is costly for people mostly from rural Kedah to stay in Penang or to travel to Kubang Kerian. The government has to do upgrade services for the benefit of the people.

We have been doing quite a lot in term of upgrading health facility in the rural areas. I can give many example like Hospital Setiu and many health centers in the periphery. However, a lot more can be done to address the problem of disparity of services between urban and rural. They have to be dealt with more positively.

The New Media

I am neither a media specialist nor a language expert. But I do observe the emergence of internet as a powerful tool which influence public opinion since the 12th general election. The fact was confirmed by leaders in the ruling elite.

Not all people who write in the new media seek political position. Some write just to express their opinions irrespective of whether they will be heard or not. Others may just read for a group of friends in order to share on their subject of interest.

This is a blessing in the era of globalization. We are living in the border-less world. However, like it or not, internet usage has to be limited as freedom does not permit someone to disobey norms and regulations, disrupt public orders and impose threat to security of the country.

I believe that academicians must write in order to capture their thought like artists need to draw in order to visualize their visual images on canvas. Hence, blog in the new media provides opportunity for writers to pen ideas down for the benefit of others.

Internet publication empowers self-regulation and self-dependence. One has to become a writer, editor, proof reader and publisher. Unlike traditional media, a writer has to depend on the editor to approve content fits for publication. Internet publication cuts significant amount of time, money and energy.

And finally, the good news is now everyone can publish!

Shop Till You Drop

Lan bought RM10,000 worth of car accessory a year ago, plunging herself into debt and despair. He knew something was wrong but couldn’t help himself: For hours each day, he admired his newly modified car until he became exhausted. He was also known for his shopping spree for high class shirts and pants. He did most of his binge buying not just during offer but often, after the new purchase arrived. Interestingly after heavy buying, he will returned them, knowing he could not afford them. Then she would visit the mall again, look for the same items and buy them again. This has become ridiculous ritual. He was distraught and slowly realized that he has some kind of compulsion.

How to advice Lan?

Lan should be advised to have a “conversation” with the new accessories he bought before he made his next purchase, as a way to put some distance between himself and his compulsion. Lan should have said, ‘You are so beautiful, I can’t live without you; I love your appearance,’ “The accessories would say back, ‘You need me. You look powerful when you use me.’ Lan would say, ‘I do need you. I can’t possibly think of being without you. But something has to change. I need to stop this. I can’t afford a single cent any more.’

There may not be many people yet who become shopaholic in the state which I work now. Reasons because the shopping outlets are limited, the branded apparels are scarce and people prefer to shop at the cheaper outlets near the border or at the night market. Nevertheless, the common phenomenon seen over here among men is the obsession to modify their car with latest accessories to the extend that they buy things they do not need and often cannot afford, and place their work, their families in jeopardy. There are cases that they are so personalize with their newly modified car and disallow other family members including the wife to drive. They are willing to buy another car for the wife provided that she did not share or use his car.

The desire to spent on lavish goods is observed among middle to high class professionals and businessmen. There is a common quotation: “I must use Merc, be it old or new”. Merc is the symbol to show off to the extended relatives and clients that one is successful and the relatives or clients will therefore think that the person have lots of money and have to be respected and consulted. I think it is OK for those who really can afford it but it is pity for the charlatan businessmen or managers.

Well, let me stop here and share with you the famous tag by Nabil Raja lawak, “Lu fikirlah sendiri..”

Jaluluddin ar-Rumi

Jaluluddin ar-Rumi was born in 1207 in Balkh, Afghanistan When he was 12, his family left the country to escape the Mongol invasion. His family performed the pilgrimage in Mecca adn finally settled in Konya, Turkey, at that time part of the Seljuk Empire. Konya was the center of learning during Rumi’s time.

Rumi from an early age, studied religious sciences with his father, who is an eminent theological, a great teacher and da’ie (preacher). Rumi also went to Aleppo and Damascus to study with some of the greatest religious minds of the time.

His major works include the Mathnawi, the Koran in Persian and many poetry on subject related to Sufism. He undoubtedly stands out as the supreme genius of Islamic mysticism.

As a philosopher, he is a man of profound insight into the nature of mind including the nature of instincts, the power of reason over instincts, the nature of the self, of consciousness and the unconscious.

So, we have valid reasons to believe that Islamic scientists and academicians must acquire eminent brain, mind and soul to emulate great people from the past for the enlightenment of the future.

ADHD or Conduct? Obviously a Mischievous Child!

Jingo was a problem child. The psychiatrist thought his parents on some basic parenting skills i.e play with him and proper role-modeling.

One day, the father was trying to practice the advice and told the child, “I’ll get you anything you want to eat”.

Jingo thought for a moment. “I want an earthworm”. In the backyard the father found one. He set before Jingo.

“I want it cooked”. Jingo ordered. The father took it back to the kitchen and boiled it.

Jingo ordered it critically, “You eat half”. He told his father, “and I’ll eat the other half”.

The long suffering father managed to choke down half the earthworm. Suddenly Jingo let out a wild yowl: “You ate my half!”.

The Skill of Storytelling

It comes to a point when I write straight from my mind as if someone sings his fovourite song straight from his heart. Writing has become the art. Storytelling is the skill.

When I listen to presentation given by my students, one obvious shortcoming is that their presentations lack the art of storytelling.

Psychiatric presentation is sligtly different from medical presentation in such a way that students have to present symptom history (psychopathology) as well as chronology of events. In some cases, students just concentrate on chronology of events without probing much on psychopathology. How can they make a diagnosis if symptom history is incomplete?

During presentation, students have to make sure that the audience understands the story line. The presenter has to remember that many people have short attention span particularly if the story they listen is not properly organized. The audience has to depend on imagination and visualzation. Therefore, the presenter has to take the story as close to them as he can. In order to make sure the audience ‘feels’ the presentation, the presenter must try to stimulate the audience senses through vivid account of the incident using powerful choice of words.

More often than not, the presenter tends to forget on providing the setting of events as well as the traits of the charactor. That is why the presentation appears dull and dry.

Last but not least, keep the story short. Lengthy storytelling may easily makes the audience sleeps.

Good Luck.

Female dominance in Malaysian Varsity

This year intake to local universities is dominated again by girls. It is not surprising that 65% or 2 out of 3 successful applicants this year are girls since girls work much harder than boys. Boys are playful and not serious enough in their study. Imposing quota will only create ill-feeling and injustice since those girls that we are talking about might be our daughters, nieces and girl-friends.

There are many reasons why girls seem to dominate university entrance. I believe, our educational highway provides lot of exits for boys to stop by. Take for example, GIAT MARA, community college and polytechnic. To some extent, it is good to provide vocational training for those who cannot pursue their study in a scholarly pedantic way. Unfortunately, many would just stop over and find easy way out to earn little money to support their life. In doing so, many find hard to pursue their study as a result of heavy commitment to the new life.

Malay society in particular impose many rules and restrictions to girls. They are expected to behave in some particular ways. In many situations, girls are expected to help raising younger siblings when parents go to work. They clean the house, cook food for their family and complement domestic duties of the mother. When they grow-up, they seem to master their live in a short span of time. As we were told by a scholar, “If you want children to keep their feet on the ground, put some responsibility on their shoulders.” Responsibility makes girls work hard in school. As a result, many earn good points or CGPAs which entitle them to take up good courses in university.

Epidemiological studies on the prevalence of child and adolescent psychiatric disorders world wide revealed that boys outnumbered girls in the prevalence of externalizing problem behaviors such as ADHD, conduct and oppositional defiant disorders as well as substance abuse and dependence. Many of them would be school drop-outs and would likely to acquire low salary jobs and suffer tremendous life events such as financial and marital problems which later lead to substance abuse and dependence. The figure released by National Anti-Narcotic Agency showed that majority (97.3%) of drug addicts in rehabilitation centers throughout the country are male.

So, let us resort back to the statement released by Datuk Dr Radin Umar Radin Sohadi, DG of Higher Education Dept, Ministry of Higher Education that the Ministry is not gender biased and there is no way the ministry can stabilize university intake involving genders as admission is strictly based on meritocracy. So keep the status quo, please..