Materia Medica Malaysiana

September 16, 2007

eKesihatan system online by Oct 1

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 11:24 am

NST: KUALA LUMPUR: The Road Transport Department’s (RTD) eKesihatan system will be online by Oct 1.
The announcement was made by Transport Minister Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy despite the hue and cry over its ethical and legal ramifications.
Chan said the fee of RM80 was not exorbitant, adding that the biggest portion of the fees would go to the clinics, as well as for lab tests.
“A small portion of it is management fees,” he said following complaints that the management fee was too high.
He said the new system was needed because the present one was open to abuse.
“Some commercial drivers are forging medical sheets.
“Some express bus drivers are not medically fit and even drug addicts are being allowed to drive.”
The current system, he said, did not include a blood test, but was just a general check-up by the doctor.
Chan also brushed aside allegations that the RTD was overstepping its authority.
In response to a statement by director-general of health Tan Sri Dr Ismail Merican that the RTD should not be allowed to dictate which medical practitioner could examine drivers, Chan said: “They (RTD) are not registering clinics. All clinics fulfilling the needs will be approved.
“Government clinics will, of course, be included. After all, they are the most secure,” he said.
Chan claimed he did not know which company had been awarded the contract as the gateway provider for the programme.
The RTD had proposed the eKesihatan scheme to increase public service vehicle safety in the wake of the Bukit Gantang express bus crash.
Under the scheme, holders of all public service vehicle (PSV) licences, goods driving licences (GDL) and conductor licence will have to undergo a mandatory health check by doctors on the panel.
The scheme has caused a furore among many parties affected by it, including lorry, express bus and taxi drivers who have to renew their PSV and GDL licences annually.
The scheme also raised eyebrows in the medical fraternity. The Malaysian Medical Association questioned the selection process for the company operating the system and called on its members not to accept the appointment as panel clinic for the eKesihatan programme until further discussions with the RTD.
On the coming festive season, Chan said the Commercial Vehicle Licensing Board had approved additional permits for buses in view of a shortage of buses.
However, certain requirements needed to be observed by the buses, including checks by Puspakom.
The buses also cannot be more than 10 years old.
“The driver cannot drive for more than four hours or 300km straight, or exceed eight hours of driving a day,” Chan said.
The buses must also have log books on board.
“The police and the RTD will be conducting joint enforcement under Ops Bersih and Ops Sikap,” he said after closing World Vision’s 30-hour famine camp at Stadium Putra in Bukit Jalil.
Some 5,500 participants fasted for 30 hours to raise RM1.2 million for charity.

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