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Health services advertisement

Health services advertisement in print media, electronic and social network normally will promote health check-up services, pathology services, beauty services, therapy machines, eye treatments and others. However, there are times where the advertisement is linked with testimony before-after visual effect which is the common approach used by the advertiser, with the intent to capture the attention of the public.

With the recent technology, there might be a possibility that the photo has undergone superimposed or edited amongst the technique used to produce the effect, coupled with lighting technique, face mimic to show the difference of before-after effect. Public is advised not to be deceived by the advertisement. Below are examples which the public can use as a yardstick to evaluate the authenticity of a before – after effect of an advertisement.

Before
After
  • big flabby body size
  • use of dull color cloth
  • unhappy face without make-up
  • dim lighting
  • nice model figure
  • use of bright and cheerful color
  • cheerful face with make-up
  • bright lighting

There are a lot of health centers offering eye treatment which include corrective sighting, cataract, glaucoma and other eye diseases and conditions. Ahead of that, there are also services for the treatment of interrelated diseases comprises of diabetes, hypertension and heart disease by means of a therapy machine that have been advertised to the public. Public is advised to seek treatment only from those certified health care professional for those interrelated diseases and not from the kiosk placed in the shopping mall or night market. Treatment given by uncertified individual may lead to more acute problem. Please seek advice and treatment only from medical professional and not to merely believe the sales agent who does not poses adequate medical knowledge.

KKLIU Number

The present legislation requires health services advertisement must have an approval from the Medicines Advertisement Board (MAB), Ministry of Health prior to it being advertised. Medicines (Sales & Advertisement) Act 1956 stipulated that any private clinic/hospital, pathology laboratory or private radiology which offers health services to the public in term of treatment, prevention or diagnosis must get approval from MAB. The law also requires those premises promoting health pharmaceutical product, the promotion material / advertisement also need to be approved by MAB in order to ensure that all statements and claims are true and reliable.

The use of superlative words such as ‘State-of-the art machine’, ‘The Best Treatment’, ‘No. 1 in Malaysia’, ‘Unique procedure’ will be vetted by MAB so that it will not misled the public. If the advertisement is not approved by MAB, the fact in the advertisement is doubtful. In order to distinguish whether the advertisement has been approved or not by MAB, the public is advised to search for KKLIU number on that particular advertisement be it in print media or electronic as well as in social media.

Women and Beauty

Women and beauty cannot be separated. Every woman loves beauty. However, the perception of beauty differs among women. Beauty is not only confining to physical appearance but the most important is the inner beauty which comprises of attitude, politeness and behavior. There are women who are very obsessed on physical beauty moreover they are willing to spend great amount of money just to improve the physical appearance such as improving their nose figure, enlargement of their breast and buttock, tautening the face, liposuction and face injection and many other aesthetic techniques, without assessing the risk that they might have after going through the treatment. Observing the current scenario, many women tend to mimic their K-pop stars. They are willing to spend their money just to reshape their face, whitening the skin just to be alike their Korean pop stars. Be as ourselves because each people are created uniquely and stop pretending to be other people.

However, it should be noted that there are many premises that offer beauty services. People who want to get the treatment need to ensure that the services are conducted by those who are experts in this field. In other words, they have the certification and expertise in the field of aesthetics. The public has a right to know the expertise of the medical practitioner. Not because they are too obsessed with beauty, then our life is compromised. Normally there are two types of beauty treatments, whether invasive or non-invasive. For invasive treatment, make sure only qualified medical practitioner in the field of aesthetics alone can provide such invasive treatment.

Beauty : Islamic Point of View

Islam allows a person to look beautiful but there are limitations. Allah is beautiful and He loves beauty. Allah has bestowed perfection looks and uniqueness of each slave. Permanently changing figure/structure is an act condemned by Allah. However, there are circumstances in which facial reconstructive surgery can be performed, when the injury can be life threatening and only can be saved by reconstructive facial surgery. According to a fatwa issued by the National Fatwa Council, botulinium toxin injections for a cosmetic purpose is forbidden in Islam (See Discussion National Fatwa Council 73rd 2006). Therefore, Muslims are forbidden to do botulinium toxin injections without any basis or simply for beauty.

Real cases

  1. One man has lost his eye sight following treatment conducted by uncertified agent at shopping mall kiosk.
  2. A housewife died after getting treatment from unauthorized slimming centre.
  3. A model suffered acute allergic reaction after an uncertified individual injected her.

Be smart

‘Promotion…. Face injection for anti-wrinkles. Look younger……….come and get the services from us……If one of us is being approached with this promotion, what are our pre-cautionary measures? There might be people who get influenced with these types of statement and would get the services in the blink of an eyes. Be cautious and do counter check with regulatory body.

Public can also check whether the advertisement has an approved KKLIU number by checking via the www.pharmacy.gov.my portal. Should the public require further explanation, feel free to contact Medicines Advertisement Board at 03-78413200.

Public must be ensure what they really need before making any decision to choose the services and must not be influenced by the promotion. We should not apply the same approaches as we do for car services, flight ticket, when viewing a health services advertisement. Please seek proper advice from medical officers or other certified healthcare provider. For more enquiries please contact Pharmaceutical Services Division, MOH at 03-78413200 or email to pharmacy1@moh.gov.my.

Reference

  1. Medicine (Sales & Advertisement) Act 1956
  2. National Fatwa Council Muzakarah 73rd 2006
Last Reviewed : 02 March 2015
Writer/Translator : Normawati bt. Mohammed Noor
Accreditor : Muhammad Lukmani bin Ibrahim