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KEEPING ABREAST: Doctors must earn points through Continuous Professional Development to renew licence
SUBANG JAYA: More than 35,000 doctors in the country will soon have to earn Continuous Professional Development (CPD) points before renewing their annual practising licences, under amendments to the Medical Act 1971.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said those who did not earn sufficient points as stipulated by the Malaysian Medical Council (MMC), risk being de-registered.
He said doctors would have to attend medical-related seminars and courses to accumulate the points.
“This is to motivate them to constantly acquire knowledge and keep abreast of developments in the medical industry. It is self improvement through continuous professional development,” he said after a dialogue with the Clinical Health Joint Advisory panel here yesterday.
Liow said the details of how the points could be earned would be made available on the MMC website.
"For example, attending a convention or seminar related to their profession will give the doctor 10 points."
Liow said doctors could also sign up for online courses and should not use the lack of time as an excuse for not attaining sufficient CPD points and failing to renew their licences.
"It will not be taxing for doctors as the points needed to allow them to renew their licences are minimal."
He also reminded doctors to ensure they had valid practising licences from the MMC.
"Doctors who do not renew their licences for six years will be required to sit for a special eligibility test in order to practise again."
He said that an online service to renew licences would be made available soon.
He said this was also applicable to doctors who might have overlooked the need to renew their licences after moving on to other professions or taking up political appointments.
Liow also said that once the act was amended, it would be compulsory for more than 5,000 medical specialists in the country to register with the MMC. At present, it is not mandatory for specialist doctors to register with the council.
Liow added that this would ensure that a clear job specification was laid out for specialists.
"There were cases where dermatologists performed plastic surgeries and this should not happen."
Liow said the amendments would be tabled and passed at the next Parliament sitting.
Malaysian Medical Association president Dr Mary Cardosa welcomed the move for doctors to accumulate points through constant learning to renew their licences annually.
"Currently, all they have to do is fill up a form and pay a fee to receive their annual practising certificate."
She said making it compulsory to earn the points would ensure medical practitioners kept up to their responsibility to maintain quality of practice.