Tuesday, August 9

‘Don’t depend on Internet for treatment’

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SIBU: The public are advised against depending on Internet resources to treat themselves as this can cause serious health complications that could put their lives at risk.In giving the advice yesterday, chairman of Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) Sibu Sub-branch Dr Hu Chang Hock warned of serious health repercussions when medical professionals were not consulted.

He said a lot of Internet information had commercial interest so the people should tread with caution.

“The symptoms can be the same but if the disease is not diagnosed properly, it (the treatment) can be dangerous,” Dr Hu told The Borneo Post.

He was asked his view on MMA newsletter editor Dr Kuljit Singh, who said patients were becoming their own consultants and treat themselves using information obtained from the net.

Dr Kuljit had described the trend as ‘scary’ because clinical medicine was becoming less important to some people.

Admitting that people in Sibu were not spared from such inclinations, Dr Hu said since they were not medically trained, they would not be able to make safe interpretation of the information available on the Internet.

“Not everyone is medically trained nor is all Internet information accurate or reliable,” he cautioned, reiterating that relying on the net for treatment can threaten their well-being.

If patients buy medication online, they would put themselves at risk as they do not know whether it is genuine or fake or controlled by a regulatory body.

Dr Hu pointed out that while it was beneficial for people to upgrade their knowledge using the Internet, they should consult doctors for matters related to medications and health.

Towards this end, he urged medical professionals to upgrade their knowledge via the Internet.

“Otherwise, they will be dumbfounded should patients pose them a question about what they found on the Internet,” he added.