HIV/AIDS CHARTER FOR DOCTORS

PREAMBLE

* Recognising the imperative necessity for concerted action by all Malaysians to halt the spread of HIV,

* Recognising the paramount importance of HIV / AIDS awareness and knowledge among all sections of the population,

* Recognising that there is (wide-spread) discrimination and prejudice against persons living with HIV / AIDS and their partners, families and caregivers,

* Recognising that the escalating HIV / AIDS epidemic will have an adverse impact on the socio- economic developments of the nation, thus endangering the achievement of Malaysia's Development Policy as enshrined in Vision 2020,

* Recognising that Doctors including general practitioners / primary care givers, are in a crucial position to provide care and support to those living with HIV / AIDS and to disseminate information amongst the population at large on prevention of infections as well as care and acceptance of those living with HIV / AIDS.

This Charter sets out the basic framework of shared rights and shared responsibilities incumbent on all members of the medical profession in Malaysia.

 

RIGHTS & RESPONSIBILITIES OF DOCTORS

  1. All doctors shall be caring, adequately educated and sensitised to HIV / AIDS issues to enable them to carry out their duties and responsibilities without prejudice and discrimination. This shall form part of the continuing medical education requirements.
  2. Doctors shall provide caring, adequate, accepted and complete management and treatment to all people living with HIV / AIDS, in primary care and secondary and tertiary care institutions, whether private or public.
  3. Doctors, in matters relating to carrying out blood or other tests to identify people living with HIV / AIDS, and in their subsequent management, shall adopt a careful sympathetic approach. Adequate pre- and post-test counseling is very important particularly to ensure there is informed consent to testing and test results are communicated appropriately.
  4. Doctors shall at all times provide guidance, assistance and counseling on HIV / AIDS with emphasis on prevention of infection as well as care and acceptance for those living with HIV / AIDS to all people including but not limited to those seeking such information whether for personal or other reasons.
  5. Every doctor shall strictly follow universal precautions to protect himself or herself and his or her patients, and shall, whenever possible, ensure that such universal precautions are also observed by his or her fellow healthcare workers for their own protection.
  6. Patients who are HIV-positive shall be encouraged to inform the attending doctor(s) of their HIV status. Information about a patient's HIV status shall be restricted to doctors, nurses, trainees and other authorised personnel on a need-to-know basis.
  7. Doctors shall have the right to a safe working environment. They shall be provided with:
    •     adequate personal protection equipment;
    •     care and support especially counseling and stress management;
    •     compensation / insurance for occupationally acquired disease.
  8. A doctor who is HIV-positive shall have the right to continue working, subject to approval and regular review by suitably qualified specialists with regard to his or her ability to continue in his or her line of work within his or her profession. However, a doctor who is HIV-positive shall not perform any invasive procedures which may place his or her patient at risk.
  9. Doctors have the right to have their own HIV status kept confidential.

 

Prepared by the MMA AIDS Action Committee in consultation with all medical professional bodies and the Malaysian AIDS Council, and adopted by the 37th MMA Council.