Patients & Public

We protect public health and safety by requiring all doctors to meet our standards before they can practise medicine in Malaysia.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q1 : What is the jurisdiction of the Council?
Pursuant to section 29 of the Medical Act 1971 , the Council only has jurisdiction over registered doctors.


Q2 : I have heard of ‘Code of Professional Conduct’, what are they?
Being statutory body, the Council self-regulates the medical profession in Malaysia. To that effect, the Council makes rulings and regulations from time to time on various aspects of professional conduct in the light of the needs of society and changing professional norms.
The ‘Code of Professional Conduct’ is a guideline that spells out how practitioners should relate to their patients, their colleagues and the public.


Q3 : What other guidelines are there as to what is regarded as ethical and unethical behaviour?
Apart from the ‘Code of Professional Conduct’, the Council has also adopted two other booklets namely ‘Good Medical Practice’ and ‘Confidentiality’ in January 2001 to supplement and complement the Code.
To give further advice and guidance to practitioners and public alike, the Council has produced and adopted ethical guidelines on 9 specific areas namely:
a. Assisted Reproduction ;
b. Brain Death ;
c. Clinical Trials and Biomedical Research ;
d. Dissemination of Information in the Medical Profession ;
e. Medical Records ;
f. Ethical Implications of Doctors in Conflict Situations ;
g. Medical Genetics and Genetic Services ;
h. Organ Transplantation ; and
i. Relationship between Doctors and Pharmaceutical Industry .


Q4 : What to do if you are having problems with your doctor?
You can discuss your concerns with us at any time. However, before calling us, you may wish to discuss your concerns through local procedures, as it may be possible to resolve the issue locally. If you are dissatisfied or worried concerned by action taken by such authorities, or for any reason you do not feel comfortable about it to use them, please you may telephone, write or e-mail us for advice. Please refer to Complaint section in our website.


Q5 : How to make a complaint against a doctor?
If you decide to make a formal complaint, please refer to Complaint section in our website. Your letter of complaint can be in Bahasa Malaysia or English. Alternatively, if you prefer, you can use the Complaint Form .


Q6 : Do I have to pay for any legal costs?
No, the Council has its own solicitors to help with the legal side of things. You need not pay for any legal costs unless you appoint a legal counsel to assist you.


Q7 : Do I need a solicitor or a legal advisor to make a complaint?
You need not appoint a legal advisor to make a complaint. However, you are free to appoint a legal advisor at your own expense.


Q8 : Is there a time limit for making complaints?
No, there is no time limit when you can make a complaint. You can make a complaint even for an event which occurred a long time ago. However, to be fair to you and the respondent doctor, it is best to let us know as soon as possible.


Q9 : Can I complain to the Council and to another organization at the same time?
Yes, you can complain to us irrespective whether or not you have complained to another organization (including constituting a civil action). We may have to defer further action until the other organization has completed its due course, if it is deemed necessary.


Q10 : How will your complaint be dealt with?
We take all complaints about doctors very seriously. As investigation of any complaints may end up in a legal action, there are specified legal procedures, which we have to abide strictly. Please refer Complaints section for further details on the processess.


Q11 : What happens if my complaint is referred to the Preliminary Investigation Committee?
If the President decides to sanction your complaint about a doctor’s conduct to the Preliminary Committee (PIC), the PIC will meet and review all the documentary evidence.
After considering the evidence, the Committee can do one of the following:

•Decide the case should be summarily dismissed (Regulation 28 );
•Ask you to submit a statutory declaration; or
•Inquire into the complaint.


Q12 : What happens if the Council decides not to investigate into your complaint?
If we decide not to investigate into your complaint, it will be because the ‘doctor’ is not registered with us or your complaint falls under the dismissal criteria as prescribed under Regulation 28 where the Preliminary Investigation Committee may summarily dismiss any complaint or information it received, if it is satisfied that:

a. That the name and address of the complainant is unknown or untraceable;
b. That even if the facts were true, the facts do not constitute a disciplinary matter; or,
c. For reasons which must be recorded, that there is reason to doubt the truth of the complaint or information.
Pursuant to section 29 of the Medical Act 1971 , the Council only has jurisdiction over registered doctors.
If your complaint is not investigated, you will be notified in writing. The doctor will not be informed of the complaint.


Q13 : What if the Preliminary Investigation Committee recommends an inquiry?
If the PIC recommends an inquiry, we will write to inform you and the respondent doctor once the date has been fixed for hearing. We will give both parties plenty of notice. You need to present the compliant and be cross-examined by the respondent doctor and/or the lawyer defending the doctor.
Both the complainant and the respondent doctor can appoint a legal counsel to assist them in the investigation at their own expense.
The complainant is required to bring all the original evidences and witness/es for the hearing.
The respondent may call upon any witness/es to defend the complaint against him.


Q14 : What happens if the Council decides to take action?
If the PIC decides the Council inquire further into your complaint, the Council will notify you and the respondent doctor in writing once the hearing date is fixed.
Both the complainant and the respondent doctor can appoint a legal counsel to assist them in the investigation at their own expense.
The complainant is also required to bring all the original evidences for the hearing. He need not bring any witness/es. The respondent doctor, however, is advised to call upon any witness/es, he deems fit to defend his case.


Q15 : How long will it take for the Council to consider my complaint?
We appreciate that making a complaint can be stressful, so we will try to consider your complaint as quickly as we can. The length of the investigation depends on the complexity and seriousness of each concern.
If we decide to investigate into your complaint, we will take every effort to keep delays to a minimum and complete the investigation as quickly and efficiently as we can and will keep you informed of progress. We have to be fair to both parties.


Q16 : What sort of action can the Council take if the doctor is found to be guilty?
The Council has a range of options available. For example, sometimes we may give the doctor a public warning or reprimand. In more serious cases we can suspend the doctor’s registration, preventing him from practicing medicine for a period of time that the Council thinks fit. A doctor will be struck off the Medical Register in the most serious cases.


Q17 : What if I am not happy with the way the Council has handled my complaint?
Whatever action we take, our first concern is to protect patients. We will keep you informed of any action we are taking and provide you with a clear explanation for our decisions.
As investigation of any complaints may end up in a legal action, there are specified legal procedures, which we have to abide strictly.
If you are not happy with the way we have handled your complaint, please discuss the problem with the person who handled your complaint. You may contact the Secretary, or even the President, if you are still unhappy.


Q18 : Who will bear the Legal Costs?
As a complainant or a respondent doctor, you may present/defend your case personally or instruct your own legal counsel. If you decide to appoint a legal counsel, you will pay your own legal expenses.


Q19 : Can the doctor appeal against the decision made by the Council?
Yes, the doctors can only appeal to the High Court. If there is an appeal, you will not be asked to appear at the hearing. The High Court may affirm, reverse or vary the orders made by us. The decision of the High Court is final.


Q20 : What to do if I need more information?
If you want to know more, or if you have a complaint against a doctor, please contact us. You can write to or call on us at: