Sunday January 10, 2010AMOs up to the challenge
ONE of the main arguments against the newly-launched 1Malaysia clinics is not the concept itself but the fact that there are no doctors manning them.
Instead, the staff comprises an assistant medical officer (AMO), staff nurse and an assistant health officer.
Oui: 'By dispensing advice to the communities, we hope to make sure the healthy remain that way'
Health Ministry director-general Tan Sri Dr Ismail Merican believes those who have belittled the capability of AMOs and staff nurses are ignorant of the role these healthcare personnel provide in the system.
“They will not be asked to take on more than what they have been trained for and they will adhere to the guidelines on the type of services that can be offered at all times,” he says.
Amin Zafri Abd Rahman, secretary-general of the Malaysian Association of Medical Assistants (Mama), says not many people are aware of the responsibilities of medical assistants and is urging his fellow healthcare professionals and the public to give them a chance.
“People from the rural areas know our capabilities and what we do. We hope the urbanites will give us a chance as well,” he says.
Oui bin Cheong, 48, who has been an AMO for the past 23 years, says there is a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) they have to follow.
He says that besides treating minor illnesses, the AMOs have an important role of educating the public.
“By dispensing advice to the communities, we hope to make sure the healthy remain that way,” says Oui who is currently stationed at the 1Malaysia clinic in Kampung Kerinchi.