Materia Medica Malaysiana

September 11, 2007

Major health screening for commercial vehicle drivers

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 10:02 am

Star: PUTRAJAYA: Commercial vehicle drivers will be tested for drugs under a medical check-up scheme when they renew or apply for new licences.
The new scheme, which will come into effect on Oct 1, will also see them being checked for other problems like alcoholism, drug addiction and cardiovascular and mental illnesses.
The move by the Road Transport Department (JPJ) is expected to affect more than 500,000 public service vehicle (PSV) licence, goods driving licence (GDL) and conductor licence (KON) holders.
JPJ deputy director-general Solah Mat Hassan said the scheme, called eKesihatan, aims to ensure that only medically-fit drivers are behind the wheel of commercial vehicles.
“The medical test that they have to go through is very comprehensive and from Oct 1, all drivers will be subjected to urine tests for drug abuse,” he told a press conference at the department headquarters here yesterday.
He said that under the scheme, the results would be electronically transmitted to JPJ via a government-appointed gateway provider, Supremme System Sdn Bhd, while payments and registration for the tests would have to be done at post offices before a driver proceeded to the appointed panel clinic.
“It ensures that the verification of the health status of the licence holders is not only based on the report of the medical practitioner but also on the report of a laboratory test by a third party.
“This will create a situation which is fair, and with checks and balance,” he said.
Supremme System would also be maintaining an up-to-date database of the health status of all commercial vehicle licence holders for the department.
Solah said 611 panel clinics nationwide had been appointed under the new programme.
Those applying or renewing their goods driving, passenger service vehicle and conductors licences have to pay RM80 for the test.
Previously they paid RM50 for new applications and RM10 for renewals.
Asked about the increase, Solah said the tests were more comprehensive and even those who wanted to renew their vocational licences had to undergo the same type of medical tests.
“The new medical screening will also test for designer drug abuse by drivers and conductors,” he said.
He said the Cabinet had approved the implementation of eKesihatan to improve the delivery system and protect the integrity of the screening process.
Supremme executive director Datuk Kamaludin Yusoff, who was also present at the press conference, said those who failed the tests could reapply using the same process if they felt that their health condition had improved.

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