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21/01/2010 10:35:55
Re: MC from non-panel clinics

A company is providing panel clinics for employee to get free medical services. But the employee prefers to visit other clinic and bear all the cost (will not claim from the company). Is the company allowed to:
1. Not recognise medical certificate from non-panel clinics.
2. Issue show cause letter.
3. Accept as no pay leave and deduct from basic salary.
Thank you
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KL Siew
21/01/2010 11:04:18
What are their reasons for not wanting to see panel doctors?
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21/01/2010 12:10:59

Appreciate your quick response.

The reasons are:
1. Panel clinics have to limit the number issued certificates in order to retain current contract or for financial benefits. Therefore employees are extremely difficult to obtain sick leave or the number of approved sick days will be reduced, so employee have to return the next day (another charge).
2. The appointed panels are generally the cheapest and services are basic. Mostly they have no resident doctors and the visiting doctors are changing, hence different opinions and prescriptions.
3. 24-hour clinics (more expensive charges) are available in the same vicinity but the appointed clinic is not. Employees need to drive a few kms for after-office medical attentions.
4. The own-paid doctors are obviously very attentive, prepared facilities and the prescribed medicines are from the original manufacturer. Unlike panels, they are distributing generic types or cheap alternatives.
Human Resources Dept has been notified of the situations but no action. Instead, they are only focusing to penalise employees.
Thank you again.
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KL Siew
21/01/2010 15:42:41
I think you better be guided by Section 60F of the Employment Act as quoted below:

"60F. Sick leave.

(1) An employee shall, after examination at the expense of the employer:

(a) by a registered medical practitioner duly appointed by the employer; or

(b) if no such medical practitioner is appointed or, if having regard to the nature or circumstances of the illness, the services of the medical practitioner so appointed are not obtainable within a reasonable time or distance, by any other registered medical practitioner or by a medical officer;

be entitled to paid sick leave....."

So, if they have an appointed panel doctor, you have to see the panel doctor in order to qualify for paid sick leave as in (a). The exceptions are stated in (b) where the clinic is too far away or having an illness that requires urgent treatment. Should disputes occur, you may have to refer to the Labour Department.
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03/02/2010 17:45:26
There were cases brought up by the terminated employees to court, eventually they won. According to them some technical aspects involved such as:
1. All legal clinics/doctors are certified by the government; therefore their issued MCs are valid.
2. Panel clinics are a part of the offered benefit (free) to employees but no party can force them to use the free service, instead willingly pay from own pocket for better service.
3. Most of the companies in Malaysia failed to provide the ‘best efforts as promised’ and did not observe or respect rights of every individual for their chosen medical attention.
Hope lawyers out there able to verify the above statement.
Thank you.
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