Dzulkefly To Make Announcement On Poisons Bill Tomorrow

Doctors have opposed the Bill for punishing the rejection of patients’ drug prescription requests with incarceration or fines.

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 4 — Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad is set to make an announcement on the controversial Poisons (Amendment) 2019 Bill in Parliament tomorrow, the last day of the current Parliament meeting.

“Tomorrow, minister will make announcement at 11.30am in Parliament,” Deputy Health Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye told CodeBlue briefly today.

Physician groups have widely criticised the proposed amendments to the Poisons Act 1952 — which were tabled in Dewan Rakyat for first reading last week — over provisions criminalising doctors, dentists, and vets who decline to issue medicine prescriptions requested by their patients. The Bill proposed up to five years’ imprisonment, a maximum RM50,000 fine, or both for not complying with mandatory prescriptions upon request.

The amendment Bill also expanded the powers of Health Ministry enforcement officials to allow them to search private clinics, hospitals or other premises and to seize documents if an offence was suspected, protected them from lawsuits, and allowed evidence by agents provocateur.

Dzulkefly said yesterday that the Bill may be revised and term such actions as misconduct, rather than a criminal offence.

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