KUALA LUMPUR, May 24 — Bangladeshi “doctors” are running covert clinics and pharmacies in the city centre to cater to migrant workers.
The Star reported a Bangladeshi merchant as saying that migrant workers prefer to visit these Bangladeshi doctors — allegedly qualified professionals in their home country but are not registered to practice in Malaysia — who dispense medicine from Bangladesh.
“There are four or five of such clinics around here that actively operate. They run all day until about 7pm. But they won’t sell the medicine to you if you’re not Bangladeshi,” a Bangladeshi merchant called Rehat was quoted saying.
“They are wary of Malaysians because they don’t want to get into trouble. It’s because the types of medicine they sell here are illegal. They are not registered with the government (Health Ministry). To sell medicine here, you must have the registration sticker.”
Rehat reportedly said the medicine sold at these premises was “top quality” as it came from Square Pharmaceuticals, the largest pharmaceutical company in Bangladesh. Any drugs brought into Malaysia must be registered with local health authorities, even if they have been approved in their country of origin.
“Bangladeshis trust medicine and people from their own country more, that’s why they visit the Bangladeshi clinics when they’re sick.
“For example, the medicine that they get from Malaysian doctors for gastric problems won’t solve the issue. But if they seek treatment from the Bangladeshi doctors, they get medicine that helps them recover much faster,” Rehat was quoted saying.
Foreigners have to pay higher fees than Malaysians at government hospitals.
The Star reported that several sundry shops in the upper class Mont Kiara neighbourhood sold imported medicine and supplements from India and Indonesia, some of which did not appear to be registered locally.
One shop reportedly sold various Indian medicine and supplements like drugs for chronic constipation, cough, and headaches, as well as hair vitamins and skin whitening creams. Ayurvedic medicine was also available.
“All of our products are from India. Our customers include Indian professionals such as those in the IT (information technology) sector. They are good people who just want medicine from their home country and they know that this is where they can get it,” the shopkeeper was quoted saying.