KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 13 — The format of medical exams for commercial drivers remains uncertain as both the Health and Transport Ministries have shifted responsibility to each other.
Deputy Health Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye said that any medical check-up forms used are based on the decision of the Ministry of Transport (MOT) and the Road Transport Department (JPJ).
“Whichever form to use is entirely the jurisdiction of JPJ/ MOT. MOH will follow MOT decision,” he told CodeBlue when asked if the Ministry of Health (MOH) will insist that JPJ use the new forms for renewal of the vocational driving licence.
“Under the Seventh Schedule, the medical examination fee by non-specialists are prescribed between RM40 to RM200. However, the private medical clinics are allowed lesser charges as a form of social or welfare contribution,” he added.
Dr Lee further stated that doctors who charge lower can be implicated for unethical behaviour.
“Medical practitioners can charge lower for PSV (public service vehicle) license. However, if there is evidence of lower charge as an inducement for service, MMC (Malaysian Medical Council) can initiate investigations upon receiving formal complaint for possible violation of the Code of Professional Conduct,” he added.
MOT, on the other hand, said that the decision on medical tests for e-hailing or lorry drivers was in JPJ’s and MOH’s hands.
“This is for MOH to decide. Not MOT,” said Lim Swee Kuan, the press secretary of Transport Minister Anthony Loke, when contacted by CodeBlue.
JPJ recently reverted to the previous one-page template of the medical exam form, JPJL8, for annual renewal of the vocational driving licence, while using the new JPJL8A nine-page form guiding medical check-ups only for new applications of the licence.
The Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) recently urged doctors to maintain the RM80 fee and perform stringent medical examinations for both renewal or application of new vocational driving licences.
MMA said that the burden, responsibility and medico-legal implications remain the same for both new applicants and renewals.
“Road Transport Department (JPJ) is just playing an administrative role by asking to use the old form,” explained a source from MMA, who declined to be named.
“Medical examinations have standards that a GP has to follow when conducting the examination. Hence the onus and liability are on the GP when conducting the examination.
“The question is which medical standards the GP should follow? The answer is the one developed by Ministry of Health,” the source expounded.