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SUARA Newsletter - vol.9
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(the voice of private medical specialists)

Vol 9 September 2006 for circulation to members only



Message from the President

Your new Council took office at our 5t h AGM on 17 June 2006, and had our first meeting on 3 July 2006. It is obviously a privilege to be given the opportunity to lead this Association.

My initial task is to thank members of the outgoing Council, in particular Dato’ Dr Abdul Hamid, our founder President. It is with fondness that I remember our first precursor meeting at Assunta Hospital in 1999. Representatives from various major hospitals in the Klang Valley were invited to formulate a common strategy for dealing with the expansive involvement of third party payers/MCOs within the healthcare industry. Those present were unanimous in choosing someone who had extensive familiarity with the matter at hand to lead the soon to be established Association. He has given much service and I have often looked upon Dato’ Dr Abdul Hamid as the intellectual cornerstone of ASPMPM. My thanks also go to Drs Sng Kim Hock, Mahendra Raj and Ranjit Singh. Your new Council consists of some old hands and some fresh faces.

The new term brings many challenges. Council is determined to be up to the task but we can only do so with your strongest cooperation and goodwill. We have set up subcommittees to look into key areas. Through the past three to four years we have developed a strong working relationship with the Association of Private Hospitals (APHM) and this will continue to be enhanced. Drs Kok Choong Seng and Jamal Azmi will join me in this. Related to this the Joint Healthcare Working Committee which involves APHM, Ministry of Health, MMA and those from the insurance industry. A subcommittee comprising Dato’ Dr Abdul Hamid, Dr Madhav Kudva and Dr Zainudin Md Zin has been assigned to study and respond to the Private Healthcare Facilities and Services Act (PHFSA) 1998. Dr Gurucharan Singh will continue to lead the Klang Valley Fees Committee; he will be aided by Dr Rajbans Singh. Dr Harwant Singh has been appointed Editor of SUARAM and will also be in charge of our website and communications.

Three immediate priorities need our urgent attention.

  1. First, PHFSA 1998 is upon us. Much has been said, even in the press. We have had meetings with several bodies including the Federation of Private Medical Practitioners Associations, Malaysia (FPMPAM) and the Malaysia Medical Association (MMA). These have been fruitful within a short period of time. Together with the FPMPAM, we have developed a joint memorandum detailing proposed modifications to the Regulations of the Act, which will be presented to the Minister of Health.

  2. Second, our membership level remains at a modest 230. There is obviously strength in numbers. Any ideas to increase membership will be welcomed. Council will appreciate your sustained efforts in recruiting more members so that we may prove more effective in our negotiations with relevant parties in our effort to promote members’ interests.

  3. Third, our treasurer has reported that subscriptions have not been paid in full. One attractive alternative is to convert our membership from ordinary to life as it will involve a once off payment. Dr Gurucharan Singh will soon be writing to all members.

Council and I hope that we shall be able to meet our objectives for the coming year. Each one of us has a role to play in supporting our Association so that it will in turn support us in our practice of good medicine. Your input in the affairs of the Association is vital. Do send your communications to any Council member either directly or via our secretariat.

With all good wishes.
Dr Robert Jalleh

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Dr Harwant Singh, Editor

Dear Members,

The Private HealthCare Facilities & Services Act 1998 and PHFS Regulations 2006 is in effect soon. Much has been said about it. It is believed that there are facets of the Act and Regulations that may affect the way we currently practice as Private Specialists. Our past president, DatoÕ Dr Abdul Hamid Abdul Kadir had delivered a concise summary of the Act and Regulations at our Annual General Meeting on 17 June 2006. This summary is available at the Secretariat.

Your society is co-organising a half-day seminar on 5 November 2006 on the medico-legal issues for the practicing surgeon and obstetrician. It is organized with the International Medical University at the Bukit Jalil Campus. The objective of the seminar is to examine the issues surrounding the practice of high risk disciplines. The registration is only RM 100 and will include meals for the morning. I urge the membership to attend in full force as this will enable us to meet with the expert speakers and discuss various issues including the PHFS Act 1988 and Regulations 2006.

Please do contact us if you wish any issues to be discussed at any meeting or forum; or if you wish to bring any other issues for the interest of our membership.

Thank you.

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Private Healthcare Facilities and Services Act
Summary of recent meeting with MOH

A meeting was held at the Ministry of Health, Putrajaya, between representatives of the Ministry, FFMPAM and ASPMPM on 18 August 2006. The delegation from the Ministry was headed by Dr Mohd Khairi Yakub, FPMPAM by its President Dr Steven Chow and ASPMPM was represented by Dr Robert Jalleh and Dr M V Kudva.

Some of the highlights of the discussion were as follows;

  1. All private clinics MUST register by the 31 October 2006. Registration forms can be obtained online. Specialists should register early and try to avoid the ‘last minute mentality’ of many Malaysians as this might result in a delay in the issuance of the license.

  2. Clinics that are attached to hospitals can either register separately or through the hospital. This will depend on the nature of the contractual agreement between the consultant and the hospital. In particular, clinics which are not physically, administratively OR o rganizationally linked can apply for a separate license. The latter applies to private clinics within hospital premises (physically linked), but otherwise administratively separate, (e.g. employ their own staff, collect fees from patients, perform procedures within their premises, maintain separate case notes).

  3. Only a sketched plan of the clinic is necessary and there is no need to provide the exact dimensions according to a 1:10 scale. Proportionate sketch plans with dimensions are adequate.

  4. Doctors in hospital based clinics who register individually, need not possess their own resuscitation equipment, provided an arrangement has been made with the hospital for the use of equipment in case of an emergency. (e.g. at the Emergency Department). However those performing procedures (e.g. scopes, surgical or stress ECGs) will need to equip their clinics with the appropriate resuscitation equipment.

  5. FPMPAM has proposed to produce a standardized clinic manual and SOPs for all clinics. This is to conform to the requirements under the Act.

  6. No decision has been made regarding the requirement to forward statistical information of cases according to the ICD-10 at three monthly intervals. MOH is working on a list of critical diseases that will require reporting.

  7. FPMPAM and ASPMPM has requested for a ‘Grandfathers Clause’ to be included which will ease the difficulty that may be encountered by some clinics to comply with the requirements particularly with regards to design and other standards pertaining to room, plumbing, toilet, water supply etc.

  8. A request has been made for the inclusion of a Good Samaritan clause with regard to the provision of voluntary emergency medical care. This is to protect doctors against unnecessary litigation.

  9. The Medical Advisory Committee (MAC) has been tasked with ensuring proper patient care in accordance with the ideals of the Act. A proposal has been submitted to ensure that members of the MAC are elected by consultants following proper election procedures.

  10. Another proposal is regarding the Fee Schedule. Doctors should be given the leeway to charge fees higher than the Schedule provided this is properly documented in writing between the consultant and patient.

  11. A hotline has been provided by the Ministry of Health
    for queries pertaining to the Act:

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Medico-Legal Issues for the Practising Surgeon and Obstetrician

Date: 5 November 2006
Venue: International Medical University, Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur
Closing Date: 31 October 2006

A half-day seminar that will examine the medicolegal issues surrounding the practice of the high risk medical disciplines.


At the end of the seminar, participants should be able to understand:

  1. The difference between a medical accident and medical negligence
  2. The reasons why medical litigation is on the rise
  3. What happens when the doctor is sued, and the whole litigation process
  4. The difference between liability in public / academic practice and private practice
  5. The role of the regulating bodies (MMC, Ministry of Health), including peer regulation (MMA, Academy)
  6. The perspectives of the different surgical specialities (general surgery, orthopaedic surgery, neuro surgery, aesthetic surgery) and the obstetrician
  7. The alternative dispute resolution process, especially arbitration
  8. Why the indemnity insurance premium is on the rise for high risk disciplines, and what it actually covers

Target Audience

  • Practising Surgeons in all disciplines
  • Practising Obstetricians
  • Practising Lawyers who have an interest in medico-legal litigation
  • Academics with an interest in conflict resolution
  • Medical students

Tentative Programme

0830 - 0900 Registration
0900 - 1030 Legal Aspects
1030 - 1100 Tea
1100 - 1300 Medical Aspects
1300 - 1400 Lunch

Registration Fees

Qualified Doctors : RM 100
Medical Students : RM 50


Prof Dr Harwant Singh
IMU Clinical School, Seremban
Email: /

For more information, please contact:

Danielle Ho / Rosnah Mohd Noor
Secretariat, Medico-Legal Issues for the Practising Surgeon and Obstetrician Workshop
International Medical University, Plaza Komanwel, Bukit Jalil, , Malaysia
Tel: Ext:
Email: /


Tentative Programme for Seminar
0830 - 0900 Registration
0850 - 0900 Welcome Address
0900 - 0915 Keynote address 1
The rising trend in litigation for Medico-legal incidents
0915 - 0945 The difference between a medical accident and a medical negligence
Is there a difference between Liability in Private and Public / Academic Practice?
Anatomy of a litigation: What happens when I am sued?
0945 - 1005 Keynote address 2
Minimising the risk of Medical Negligence Claims.
1005 - 1015 The role of peer regulation and the regulating bodies (MMC, Ministry of Health, etc)
1015 - 1030 Questions (to continue into tea break)
1030 - 1100 Tea Break
1100 - 1110 Perspective of a general surgeon
1110 - 1120 Perspective of a neurosurgeon (and neurosurgical spine) (TBC)
1120 - 1130 Perspective of an aesthetic surgeon
1130 - 1140 Perspective of an orthopaedic surgeon
1140 - 1200 Perspective of an obstetrician
1200 - 1220 The role of Mediation in Medico-legal disputes
1220 - 1240 The role of Arbitration
1240 - 1300 Indemnity insurance premiums and the high risk practitioners
1300 - 1400 Questions and Lunch

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