Monday, June 30, 2008

A reply to Dr. Suresh K's comment in "Recognition of Unregistered Medical Degrees"

Prior to the Private Healthcare Facilities and Services Act 1998, private healthcare facilities were licensed under the Private Hospital Act 1971 which only enabled the control of 3 types of private healthcare facilities, namely private hospitals, private maternity homes and private nursing homes. The standards imposed were minimal and non-specific, and the private sector has little information on how to establish a proper healthcare facility. The control of such licensed facilities was confined to inspection visits only as there was no provision for proper enforcement. The only penalty imposed was for operating a private healthcare facility without licence and that too was minimal, not exceeding RM1,000. There was no provision for the registration of medical and dental clinics.

The introduction of the Private Healthcare Facilities and Services Act 1998 and Regulations 2006, and their enforcement from May 2006, changed all these. The new Act and Regulations enabled the setting up of dedicated enforcement units in all states and a dedicated section at headquarter to monitor, inspect and ensure compliance to the new Act and Regulations.

All medical and dental clinics have now to be registered, and this facilitates inspections and checks by our enforcement officers. Enforcement officers are now empowered to seal unregistered clinics and weed out bogus doctors and unqualified personnel, all for the sake of protecting the public from unsafe practices.

The new Act now provides for the licensing of 12 types of private healthcare facilities ranging from the previous 3 to new entities like hospices, haemodialysis centres and ambulatory care centres. Quality and safety standards on physical structure, facilities, equipment, manpower and processes are provided for. All new private healthcare facilities now have to apply firstly, for an approval to establish their facility, and then, within 3 years of approval, a licence to operate the facility. The licence to operate is renewable every 2 years. These provisions enable the Ministry to ensure that private healthcare facilities continue to comply with the required standards to ensure that the services provided are safe, effective and of quality.

5 comments:

People said...

hi bro,

Forget abt the MCA, I suggest u to joint PR.

People said...

Hi bro,

ask your son to joint PR for the sake of Malaysia future!

dranony said...

The reason why bogus doctors were around (before the implementation of PHFSA1998), is because the Medical Act 1971 had not been properly enforced, to its full extent.

It simply implies poor enforcement of Medical Act 1971, but yet the BN government jumps in with a new Act.


IF the authorities had indeed forcefully enforced Medical Act 1971, then the PHFSA 1998 might not have been needed yet.
Anyone who is not properly registered with the Malaysian Medical Council (MMC), ie bearing a valid Annual Practising Certificate (APC), but yet is found to be practicising medicine or inducing a member of the public to believe that he/she is being treated by a registered medical doctor, is guilty of an offence.
The fine for the first offence is Two Thousand Ringgit (RM2,000) and NOT One Thousand Ringgit.
The fine for the second offence is a fine of Five Thousand Ringgit (RM5,000) or Two Years jail, plus the fine. I think that the jail term is pretty deterrent, had enforcement been proper.
For your reference, the pdf version of the Medical Act 1971, can be referred to in the download link here.

Of course, every medical doctor with a proper valid APC will tell you, that the MMC itself, is tardy with management of the Register of APCs!
Every single year (before the recent computerisation, at least), the APCs are delivered late!
Even though the Medical Act 1971 states that any doctor who practices medicine on the 1st January without an APC (we have to apply before the 1st of Dec) is guilty of an offence - it is NOT unusual for doctors to receive it only months after 1st of January!
Doctors in government service, often received it only in July! That would have meant that, half of the time, they were actually practising illegally!

The person in charge of maintenance of the APC register, is the head of MMC, who is also the Director General (DG) of Health, presently Tan Sri Ismail Merican (who reaches retirement age in July 08, iianm).
Obviously, the MMC register is NOT well maintained.
In fact, a check with the online MMC register, will show that some government doctors did NOT even have APCs for certain years!

Read more about "Many Doctors Practising Illegally in Malaysia!" here.

The BN government was only good at making laws, but not in properly enforcing them. And when it did enforce the PHFSA1998, it caused the jailing of a real bona-fide doctor, Dr Basmullah, who had been practising legally at the same address for more than 10 years!
The extenuating circumstances which caused him not to register (poor finances, was about to sell his clinic and could not afford the high registration fees and the renovations which he would have to do to comply fully with the new "Regulations2006") did not even mitigate in his favour, and he was jailed for two months! The Deputy Public Prosecutor was even pressing for a deterrent sentence!

dranony said...

DrChua,
Why are you afraid to allow this post?
Are you fearful that it will show you up in a bad light?
This is the fourth time that I am putting this post up,
for moderation.
Are you unable to rebutt the true contents of the post?

--

The reason why bogus doctors were around (before the implementation of PHFSA1998), is because the Medical Act 1971 had not been properly enforced, to its full extent.

It simply implies poor enforcement of Medical Act 1971, but yet the BN government jumps in with a new Act.


IF the authorities had indeed forcefully enforced Medical Act 1971, then the PHFSA 1998 might not have been needed yet.
Anyone who is not properly registered with the Malaysian Medical Council (MMC), ie bearing a valid Annual Practising Certificate (APC), but yet is found to be practicising medicine or inducing a member of the public to believe that he/she is being treated by a registered medical doctor, is guilty of an offence.
The fine for the first offence is Two Thousand Ringgit (RM2,000) and NOT One Thousand Ringgit.
The fine for the second offence is a fine of Five Thousand Ringgit (RM5,000) or Two Years jail, plus the fine. I think that the jail term is pretty deterrent, had enforcement been proper.
For your reference, the pdf version of the Medical Act 1971, can be referred to in the download link here.

Of course, every medical doctor with a proper valid APC will tell you, that the MMC itself, is tardy with management of the Register of APCs!
Every single year (before the recent computerisation, at least), the APCs are delivered late!
Even though the Medical Act 1971 states that any doctor who practices medicine on the 1st January without an APC (we have to apply before the 1st of Dec) is guilty of an offence - it is NOT unusual for doctors to receive it only months after 1st of January!
Doctors in government service, often received it only in July! That would have meant that, half of the time, they were actually practising illegally!

The person in charge of maintenance of the APC register, is the head of MMC, who is also the Director General (DG) of Health, presently Tan Sri Ismail Merican (who reaches retirement age in July 08, iianm).
Obviously, the MMC register is NOT well maintained.
In fact, a check with the online MMC register, will show that some government doctors did NOT even have APCs for certain years!

Read more about "Many Doctors Practising Illegally in Malaysia!" here.

The BN government was only good at making laws, but not in properly enforcing them. And when it did enforce the PHFSA1998, it caused the jailing of a real bona-fide doctor, Dr Basmullah, who had been practising legally at the same address for more than 10 years!
The extenuating circumstances which caused him not to register (poor finances, was about to sell his clinic and could not afford the high registration fees and the renovations which he would have to do to comply fully with the new "Regulations2006") did not even mitigate in his favour, and he was jailed for two months! The Deputy Public Prosecutor was even pressing for a deterrent sentence!

Tang Weng Heng said...

Everyone is not spared

http://tangwengheng.blogspot.com/

Low salaries, long hours and lack of promotion opportunities coupled with administrative bureaucracy cause government doctors to leave for private sector.

With the government building more hospitals with better facilities to cater for a rise in the number of patients, shortage of specialists and doctors becomes an even greater problem, forcing the government to recruit foreign specialists/doctors. While these foreign doctors do not come cheap, the quality of their service is highly variable.

The 2007 pay revision had brought much cheer to civil servants then, doctors included. Some may wonder how much are the government doctors paid in Malaysia? Following the 40% fuel price hike and the subsequent down-spiralling effects, the smiles have long gone.

If you think the hardship is only limited to government doctors, the power that be make sure you are proven wrong. Now, we have a legitimate doctor, who had been running a legitimate clinic for the past ten years, in jail following a change of rules in 2006 which made him a criminal.

Sigh...

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