PETALING JAYA: A doctor accused of sexual harassment can be reprimanded, suspended or have his or her name removed from the register if found to have breached the code of professional conduct, said a doctor familiar with the process of the Malaysian Medical Council’s (MMC) disciplinary inquiries.
He said sexual harassment was alluded to in the code of professional conduct and considered improper behaviour for a doctor.
In severe cases, the MMC is empowered to cancel the doctor’s full registration under the Medical Act and the annual practising certificate awarded by the Council.
“Sexual harassment, as an allegation, has to be proven. Until such time it is proven, the MMC cannot take action,” he said, explaining the procedure required.
“The MMC acts independently from the Health Ministry’s decision.”
He explained the two-month suspension by the Public Service Commission through the ministry’s recommendation was an administrative decision, while a suspension by the MMC or deregistration must be based on a proper disciplinary inquiry conducted by the MMC.
“The complainant has to present evidence that requires an MMC inquiry. Until the process is carried out, the MMC is unable to punish the doctor,” he said, adding that information submitted must show a breach of code of conduct.
He also said if the inquiry so decided, the accused could be suspended from practising medicine up to two years, and the suspension could also be suspended based on good behaviour for a period stipulated by the disciplinary board.
“If repeated complaints are received during the suspended suspension period, the punishment may be more severe,” he said.
He added that in the past, doctors had been deregistered for serious breach of code of professional conduct such as those who had provided fake medical certificates and presenting false medical graduation certificates.
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