I HAVE been a general practitioner (GP) for several years. I am writing this letter in the hope that a solution would be found soon for doctors who are facing the same problem as myself.
This concerns our annual practising certificate (APC), which all doctors must have to continue practising. We apply and pay for this through the Malaysian Medical Council (MMC). In past years, this process was relatively smooth although sometimes a bit slow.
But since 2018, it has been quite an arduous process.
Speaking from my own experience, I paid for my 2019 APC in June 2018 online. I even paid twice because the website crashed while payment for the first one was being processed and I was not sure whether it had gone through. I was not able to print out any receipts as well, and I can only show a photocopy of my credit card statement for that month as proof of payment to MMC.
To date, I have not received my APC for 2019, and the wholesale drug suppliers are forced to refuse my orders. They would be in trouble if the enforcement authority penalises them for supplying the drugs without the physical APC to prove that I am indeed licensed to practise.
All of us doctors know how hard it is to contact MMC, either through the land line, designated mobile numbers or through email. Our calls or mail are not being answered, and it is like we are pounding our heads against a stone wall.
The MMC website has been down for a few months too. Only God knows how many times all of us have tried and for how long.
Currently, I am being pushed into a corner with two choices in front of me. One, that I close down my clinic since I won’t be able to continue seeing my patients with chronic illness who cannot or do not like to fill their prescriptions from pharmacies (due to logistics reasons), or buy from pharmacies what I need for my patients. There will come a time when they (pharmacies) too would need to see my APC before supplying to me.
I sincerely hope that someone will hear our pleas loud and clear with this letter.
Hope for a better tomorrow