KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 18 — The Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) has urged doctors to maintain the RM80 fee for medical examinations performed for both renewal or application of new vocational driving licences.
The doctors’ group told general practitioners (GPs) to perform a new stringent medical check-up for e-hailing or lorry drivers renewing their vocational driving licence, even though the Road Transport Department (JPJ) recently reverted to the old one-page health exam format for renewals.
“The medical examination fees as stipulated in the 7th Schedule is in the range of RM40 to RM200. However, we urge doctors to exercise socially responsible fee charges and one such previous suggestions was RM80 for new or renewal,” said MMA secretary-general Dr R. Arasu in a circular to general practitioners (GPs) yesterday, referring to the fee schedule of the Private Healthcare Facilities and Services Act 1998.
MMA’s circular followed JPJ’s decision to use the new JPJL8A nine-page form guiding medical exams only for new applications of the vocational driving licence, maintaining the previous template of the form, JPJL8, for annual renewal of the licence.
“MMA would like to remind the general practitioners to maintain the highest standards set by the Medical Examinations Standards for Vocation Drivers by the Ministry of Health (MOH).
“The latest JPJ L8A form conforms to the standards. Hence for renewal, we urge the general practitioners to also use the examinations standards in the latest JPJ L8A form for medical record purposes, but to sign the JPJ L8 and give to the drivers,” said Dr Arasu.
On August 20, JPJ issued a circular to MOH and MMA to fix a standard rate of RM80 for e-hailing drivers to do their medical examinations.
E-hailing drivers opposed this as it would cause drivers to pay more. Malaysia E-Hailing Drivers Association (Mehda) president Daryl Chong reportedly claimed his association has already secured a low rate of RM20 to ease the burden of e-hailing drivers.
Transport Minister Anthony Loke then said last week that JPJ would remove the RM80 ceiling fee provision from its L8A form, accusing clinics of taking advantage by charging commercial drivers the maximum regulated price for medical exams.
But doctors’ groups have defended the RM80 fee for the new health test, with the Medical Practitioners Coalition Association of Malaysia (MPCAM) saying that check-ups could take up to 45 minutes in some complicated cases, three times as long as a 15-minute examination under the previous format.