Materia Medica Malaysiana

October 6, 2008

e-Kesihatan plan taken away from private firm and could be cheaper

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 9:32 am

Star: KUALA LUMPUR: The Government will scrap the controversial plan to allow a private company to run its medical check-up scheme for commercial vehicle drivers.
The scheme, called e-Kesihatan, will instead be handled by the Road Transport Department (JPJ).
Under the revamp, the fees for medical check-ups would be lower than the RM80 proposed earlier, the tests would only cover relevant ones, and more doctors and not just a selected panel would be allowed to conduct the medical check-ups.
Transport Minister Datuk Ong Tee Keat said he held discussions with various parties including the Economic Planning Unit (EPU), Health Ministry, industry players and the medical fraternity before revamping the scheme.
He said weaknesses in the original e-Kesihatan scheme were identified and improved upon.
The original e-Kesihatan programme, which was to have started on Oct 1 last year, would have seen medical check-up results of commercial vehicle drivers being electronically transmitted from panel clinics and laboratories to JPJ.
The JPJ would then issue or renew a licence once the medical check-up result is seen.
The concession for the scheme was given to Supremme Systems Sdn Bhd, which was also allowed to maintain a database of the drivers.
The move to appoint Supremme Systems as well as the limited number of panel clinics and the high fees for check-ups drew criticism from the Malaysian Medical Association and associations representing the commercial vehicle drivers.
The opposition resulted in the ministry shelving the scheme.
The e-Kesihatan scheme was originally proposed to curb fraud in commercial vehicle driver medical check-ups where medical approvals were said to be “sold”.
Ong said with the revocation of the private company’s role in the scheme, certain legal aspects had to be sorted out.
Ong said the programme would now be expanded to accommodate any doctor registered with the Health Ministry. “We want to do it in a way where it is not monopolised by groups or cartels,” he said.
Ong also wanted the fees to be revised downwards from the earlier RM80.
He said the format and content of the medical tests would also be revised to ensure that only relevant tests were carried out.
Ong said he expected JPJ to finalise the programme by the end of the year, after which it would be tabled to the Cabinet and rolled out early next year.
“JPJ must reconstitute their entire format and modus operandi before submitting the proposal to me for consideration,” he said.

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