The Malaysian Medical Council (MMC) operates under the Medical Act of 1971, which defines its core functions related to (a) the registration and practice of medical practitioners (b) the period of compulsory service (c) provisions to be enacted for purposes of (a) and (b). In the early years the MMC used the list of recognised colleges or Universities that appeared in the list of degrees recognised by the General Medical Council of United Kingdom (GMC). Over the years the MMC has undertaken the role of granting recognition to other medical schools in the country and overseas, and added the name of these schools to the existing register of recognised medical degrees in the second schedule of the Act. For the purpose of recognition of medical schools the MMC endorsed a guideline on standards and procedures on accreditation developed in 1996, which was later realigned with international and regional guidelines, in 2000 and 2001. It is recommended that the MMC establishes an active functional 'Education Committee' and that the role of MMC in medical education should be clearly and explicitly stated in the Act. An amendment to the Act would require the MMC to be responsible not only for undergraduate medical education but medical education in its entire phase.
Telemedicine is fast becoming popular in many countries in the world. It has several advantages such as being cost saving and providing better access to health care in the remote areas in many parts of the world. However, it has some disadvantages as well. One of the major problems is the problem of patients' rights and confidentiality in the use of telemedicine. There are no standard guidelines and procedures in the practice of telemedicine as yet. Both the patient and the physician are unsure of the standard of practice and how to maintain confidentiality. The patient is uncertain as to how to protect her/his rights in the use of telemedicine. The issue of litigation is also unclear as to where the physician is practicing when he/she uses telemedicine. Is she/he practicing in the country where the patient is or is the physician practicing in the country of her/his origin? These issues need to be addressed urgently so that telemedicine will have standards of ethical practice and the patient's rights and confidentiality will be protected.
Members of the medical profession are expected to be well aware and abide by the revised code of ethics adopted by the Malaysian Medical Council on 9th December 1986. Under the Act Council may, in the exercise of its disciplinary jurisdiction, impose punishments related to misconduct or malpractices. When a complaint or information is made against any practitioner, the President shall forward such complaint to the Chairman of the Preliminary Investigation Committee. The procedure of the disciplinary inquiry is not exactly like those in the court of law but the same principle of justice is adhered to and all evidence used to make a decision must only be those that are admissible in accordance with the rule of evidence.
This paper attempts to sensitize the participants to understand the benefits of looking at the regulations of accreditation for medical courses in the neighbouring nearby countries. Deregulation of Medical Education like what they have done will bring enormous revenue benefits for the existing assets like the airports, hospitals, hotels resorts and the communication infrastructure of Malaysia.