BANGI: Some 40,000 allied health professionals will be required to register with the Health Ministry once regulations for the Allied Health Professions Act 2016 is ready to be enforced early next year, says Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad.
The Health Minister said that this was to govern the professional conduct and ethics of allied health practitioners such as audiologists, clinical psychologists and clinical scientists (biochemistry, biomedical, embryology, medical genetics and microbiology) among others.
“It is our hope that with the implementation of the Allied Health Professions Act 2016 scheduled early next year, allied health practitioners will be required to register.
“This will also ensure that their practices are better monitored,” said Dr Dzulkefly who launched the 12th Allied Health Scientific Conference 2018 with the theme “Moving Healthcare Forward” here yesterday.
The Act received royal assent on Feb 4 in 2016 and was gazetted on Feb 1 the same year and will govern 23 types of allied health professions.
Currently, all major healthcare professionals and services are strictly regulated by each of their profession’s regulations but the larger group of allied health practitioners within the healthcare system are left unregulated.
The primary purpose of the enactment of the Act is to enforce registration and regulate the practice of these allied health workers.
When the Act is enforced, all allied health practitioners and those who carry out activities related to allied health will be governed by a new council that will be set up –Malaysian Allied Health Profession Council.
Besides registration, Dr Dzulkefly said that the Act would require allied health professionals to adhere to a code of ethics and professional conduct determined by the council.
“They are also required to go through continuous professional development courses,” added Dr Dzulkefly.
He said that the law was needed to ensure that allied health professionals, who often work in multi-disciplinary team with other healthcare professionals, provide the best quality of care to patients.
Health Ministry’s Allied Health Sciences Division director Ruhani Che Ja’afar said that there were 20,000 allied health practitioners in the public sector and another 20,000 in the private sector.
Other allied professions that will be governed by the Act are dental technologist, diagnostics radiographer, dietitian, entomologist (public health), forensic science officer, food service officer (healthcare), health education officer, medical laboratory technologist, medical physicist, medical social officer, nutritionist, occupational therapist, physiotherapist, radiation therapist and speech-language therapist.