Medical practitioners to comply with compulsory indemnity insurance, development points by 2019

KUALA LUMPUR: Application for the Annual Practicing Certificate (APC) by medical practitioners must also be accompanied with professional indemnity insurance and continuing professional development points, effective January 1, 2019.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said the new regulations are stipulated under the Medical Regulations 2017 which would come into force tomorrow (July 1).

He said at the moment the professional indemnity insurance was not compulsory but on a voluntary basis, adding that this was risky as medical practitioners could face claims of negligence or breach of duty in providing a professional service or advice.

"Through the new regulations, medical practitioners will be protected against legal responsibility for one's actions.

"The government has decided to provide ample time for medical practitioners to comply with the new requirements, and we think 2019 is the right time to effectively run this," he said during a press conference on the new regulations held here, today.

The Medical (Amendment) Act 2012 and the Medical Regulations 2017 which will be effective tomorrow are intended to address current needs of the medical practice and to ensure safe and quality medical care to the people.

Subramaniam said under the new regulations, medical practitioners applying for APC must also provide evidence of continuous development to continuously update their knowledge and skills for the benefits of the patients.

"It can be in a form of certificates of recent skills or knowledge, these are important so that our doctors are well equipped with recent change and technology," he said.

Meanwhile, Subramaniam said under the new regulations, the function of the Malaysian Medical Council (MMC) would be strengthened as a corporate entity that regulates the practice of medicine.

He said, apart from being allowed to hire their own employees, the council will also be empowered to manage its own financial account and generate certain revenues from its services.

"In term of membership of the council, its composition will also include representatives from private higher education institutions.

"At the moment MMC is under the Ministry of Health and they don't have that much freedom, this new regulation will make them more independent from certain restraint or limitations from public resources," he added. — Bernama