Medicos discuss rising trend of people seeking treatment abroad

A former UN adviser said that a rising number of Myanmar citizens are seeking medical treatment abroad because they do not trust the country’s medical facilities and services.

U Aung Tun Thet, a retired UN senior adviser and chief coordinator of Union Enterprise, said the increasing number of patients going abroad causes an outflow of foreign money that should instead go into the country’s economy.

“The number of patients who prefer to get medical treatment abroad is rising. They go to foreign countries because they do not trust hospitals here,” he told a discussion on rebuilding trust in the country’s healthcare profession in Bahan township, Yangon Region, on the weekend.

U Aung Tun Thet said that government records show that the number of people seeking service abroad rose to 120,082 in 2015, up from 110,839 in 2014 and 102,156 in 2013. In 2008, only 70,500 patients went abroad to seek medical treatment.

He underscored the need to rebuild the trust of people in the country’s healthcare system.

To rebuild that trust, Dr U Aung Tun Thet advised the country’s medical professionals to continue expanding their knowledge in medicine and to have good communications skills, balancing “curing and caring” for their patients.

They need to listen to their patients and practice “patient-centred care,” he added. Doctors must observe ethics and maintain high standards of moral integrity in practicing their profession.

U Maw Maw Oo of the emergency department at Yangon General Hospital said there is a need to improve the services of private and public hospitals in order to rebuild the public’s trust.

Daw Aye Aye San, chief executive officer of Victoria Hospital, emphasised the need for teamwork among different stakeholders in the medical profession.

“There must be cooperation between management and professionals and as much as possible we must encourage participation by patients. All must cooperate to accomplish this mission,” she said.

Source: Myanmar Times

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