Professional Indemnity is compulsory by law for doctors but there is a glitch in the system

Ever since the regulations for the Medical Act 1971 were updated in 2017, 2 important things affected doctors:
1) CPD became compulsory and doctors have to attain at least 20 CPD points (according to MMC guidelines). This was enforced in 2019’s application for the 2020 APC.
2) Professional Indemnity (PI) or malpractice insurance also became compulsory – this applies to ALL doctors who wish to have an APC, be they government doctors or those in private practice.

Here’s a screenshot of the Regulations 2017 amendment for your reference:

While PI is a requirement by law, it was not enforced in 2019 when doctors applied for the 2020 APC. It is however now enforced in 2020 when you apply for the 2021 APC.
The application for APC is now also Online via the Merits System. The manual for how to use this is published there as well.
You basically have to create an account (if you don’t have one already) and update your profile.
Once you have done so, you can begin to apply online for the 2021 APC provided you have already 20 CPD points (the system will detect automatically how many points you have as MMC “pulls” the data from the NSR, MMA and MyCPD). You will also be required to upload proof of PI. When you do so, the system just prompts the doctor for the date range the PI applies and then a document upload (which is the PI certificate in digital format).

This is where the confusion lies. If you look at the regulations, it just says doctors need a PI cover when they apply for APC. It did not specify that the PI cover is at the time of application or refers the year of the APC application (i.e. the following year). The dilemma doctors face is that most insurance companies will not allow application for the following year’s PI until the later part of the year, which would result in a rush for APC applications in the second half of the year. Some (like AON) still won’t allow doctors to have PI cover from January 1 to December 31 of the following year.

Some doctors have been told by MMC that they will require the PI cover for the following year at the time of APC application.
We think MMC should not be so rigid as it causes confusion and problems for everyone – MMC, doctors and insurers.
Since it doesn’t state in the regulations which time period the PI cover is for – either active year or the following year – we think the MMC should just accept proof of active PI cover at the time of APC application, and MMC can request doctors to update the system with the following year’s PI cover when they renew the PI (which almost always is the case). A proper system can automate the process of detecting if the renewed PI cover has not been uploaded by the end of the year.

Confused still? Your colleagues are here to help you in DOBBS, Malaysia’s pioneer and largest online community for doctors with over 16,000 participants. We have presence in a private Facebook group, a large Telegram supergroup and a Bulletin Board. The latter has a dedicated thread on the MMC and APC which answers common questions doctors have, and updates on this issue.
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