Doctors must be indemnified and have CME points

‘Fees for upgrading skills must be reasonable’

Dr Sng: Suggests 10 points for the first three years of implementation to allow a smooth transition.

Dr Sng: Suggests 10 points for the first three years of implementation to allow a smooth transition.

PETALING JAYA: Specialists welcome skills upgrade but do not want it to be commercially driven, says the Association of Specialists in Private Medical Practice (ASPMP).

Its president Dr Sng Kim Hock said the association fully supported the requirement to upgrade skills with continuing medical education but pointed out that fees must be reasonable.

“The Malaysian Medical Council (MMC), besides safeguarding the sick and the public, must also assist in ensu­ring that seminars and conferences that are credentialed with points are accessible to all, especially those in the districts and Sabah and Sarawak.

“Universities and the council should actively play a role in supporting the MMA (Malaysian Medi­­cal Association), Academy of Medi­­cine and professional bodies in provi­ding regular programmes throughout the year.

“There are concerns about funding for the council now that it has become autonomous, and we hope these programmes, if run under the council, become affordable as currently doctors in private practice are already facing a financial crunch,” he said when commenting on the Medical (Amend­ment) Act 2012 and Medical Regu­­lations 2017, which came into force yesterday..

Dr Sng said ASPMP suggested 10 points for the first three years of implementation to allow a smooth transition, as 20 points could be taxing too many doctors.

According to the MMC-CPD gra­­ding system scoring schedule, an example of a 20-point fulfilment is a local or international medical congress that is conducted for not less than three full days (five to eight hours per day) and involves speakers of international standing and other conditions.

A scientific meeting of less than two hours would give one point.

On medical indemnity, he said all private specialists were already required by hospitals they practise in to have the insurance.

He agreed that the continuing edu­­­cation and insurance were es­­sential for the professional development of medical practice.

While indemnity was a necessity in medical practice, he hoped this would not send the wrong signal to the public that doctors could be carefree because they were “protected” or that people “could sue doctors”.

“Doctors and specialists continue to help the sick but given the constraints of expertise, knowledge, skills and equipment available, they are not superman or perfect,” he said.

Dr Sng reminded all doctors to maintain the highest level of integrity and professionalism in doing the best for patients.

Medical Practitioners Coalition As­­so­­ciation of Malaysia president Dr Peter Chan said the increase in an­­nual practising certificate cost from RM50 to RM100 was reasonable.

He said doctors should get indemnity insurance immediately as cases of litigation were increasing.

Subra: Doctors must be indemnified and continue education under amended law

KUALA LUMPUR: Doctors will be required to have indemnity insurance and attend education courses in order to continue practising under the new law, says Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam (pic).

The Health Minister said as part of the amendments to the Medical Act 2012 which comes into force Saturday, doctors would need to have both in order to apply for an Annual Practicing Certificate (APC).

He said there would be a grace period to ensure doctors get enough Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points and obtain professional indemnity cover.

However, he said those applying for an APC from Jan 1, 2019, would need both qualifiers.

“This is to provide ample time for registered medical practitioners to comply with the requirements.

“The council places utmost importance on patients’ safety, thus it is crucial for practitioners to continuously update their knowledge and skills,” Dr Subramaniam said during a press conference here.

He revealed there were around 41,000 doctors with APCs in Malaysia, of which 27,000 were in public service and more than 13,600 in the private sector.

Under the Medical Act’s new rules, registration with the Malaysian Medical Council is required to be recognised as specialists, which covers fields like paediatrics, neurosurgery and psychiatry.

Specialists would have until December to register, but those already recognised by the MMC would automatically be placed in the National Specialist Register.

Another change is to the MMC itself, which will function as a corporate entity, giving the body under the Health Ministry more autonomy in managing its secretariat and funding.

Dr Subramaniam said the new composition of its secretariat would now include representatives from private higher education institutions to allow balanced input from academicians and doctors from the private and public sector.



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