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.