From the press release by the Malaysian Diabetes Association president the reasons for the diabetic drop-outs include: (

PETALING JAYA: Doctors using out-dated methods to treat their diabetic patients is one reason why they are dropping out of treatment or not taking their prescribed medication.

Experts blame denial, turning to traditional medicine and long waits at government hospitals as other factors contributing to this problem in the country, which is estimated to have more than two million diabetics.

Malaysian Diabetes Association president Prof Dr Ikram Shah Ismail described the “dropout” scenario as a “big problem.”

Unsuitable methods, he said, included being prescribed medication with strong side effects and using needles instead of the modern insulin pens for injections.

“Of course, the patients are to be blamed. But so are the doctors who still give “old” drugs and do not counsel the patients on things like targeting their levels to be as normal as possible,” he said in an interview.

“Patients do not go for follow-up treatments because they are not being treated properly. Doctors are not up-to-date and patients end up not wanting that kind of treatment. The patients are not happy.”

Prof Datuk Dr Khalid Abdul Kadir, professor of medicine at Monash University Malaysia, said that there were patients who refused to accept the diagnosis that they had diabetes and would have to be on medication for the rest of their lives.

He estimates that about five per cent of the Malaysian diabetic population did not go for treatment.

He also blamed traditional medicine for patients giving up on modern medicine.

“For some reason, they think that traditional medicine is better. And they stop taking their medication and again fall quite ill. And some of the traditional medicines may contain toxins, which can cause problems,” he said.

However, he said that while the World Health Organisation recognised that using alternative medicine was the choice of the patients, they should realise that it does not replace modern medicine.