Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Doctors decide who is given an MC - not employers, MMA must retract MMA President's statement

When a doctor after examining a worker gives a Medical Certificate(MC), that should be sufficient proof that a worker is incapable of going to work - and as such need to just inform the employer that he is sick and will not be coming to work - paid sick leave taken. [If the worker has utilized all his paid sick leave, then maybe he would be considered as being on 'no-pay leave' or maybe on 'paid annual leave']

Now, the outcry is happening when the President of the Medical Association of Malaysia, came out with a statement that "that the Medical Certificate is just a recommendation from the doctor that the employee be allowed sick leave and it is for the employer to accept or reject the Medical certificate. They should question the MC, and refuse to accept it, if they genuinely belief that the MC is unwarranted."
Such a statement gives the impression that it is up to the employer to make an assessment whether the worker is sick or not, and this is absurd for the medical state of the worker must be accessed by a doctor or a medical personnel - never the employer. What is the MMA President saying, a sick worker with a MC must then go see the employer who then  will decide whether the MC is to be accepted or not? Surely, this cannot be the position of the doctors in Malaysia, or even the Malaysian Medical Association(MMA). If the doctor checks and determines that a worker is sick enough to be issued a MC - a certificate that indicates that the worker is not healthy to go to work...that should be sufficient. 
The MMA President's statement is irresponsible. No doctor should give an MC if they are of the opinion that a worker is healthy enough to go to work, and no doctor should deny giving a MC if a worker, in his opinion, is sick and need not go to work.
Employers are not doctors - and they have no right to not accept a MC as proof that the worker was sick and could not come to work. 
For the MMA President's statement, and MTUC response See also 

MTUC shocked at Malaysian Medical Association statement on Medical Certificate

Association of Maybank Executives (AME) Statement

Dear Editor,

Association of Maybank Executives (AME) is a trade union representing Maybank officers union and the undersigned is also the Executive Council  member in Malaysian Trade Union Congress (MTUC). 

I would like to refer to your front NSTP paged article dated 19/5/14 "MCs may be rejected" and page 8 under "Bosses can reject MCs". 

This statements by MMA (Malaysian Medical Association) is misleading the public, false impression of authority felt by bosses and totally irresponsible statement given that Employment Act provides sick leave for the employees.

MMA also quoted that doctors only recommends and employers have the right to reject the MC. Doctors are the only recognized medical practioners and  have the sole authority to decide whether a person deserves MCs or not. No one including employers has the right to dispute it.

MMA should ensure their doctors adhered to code of ethics and provide MCs when really deserved it. MMA should not recommend or give statement which contravenes the existing labour law and creating unneccessary stress in employer and employee relationship. 

As such, in future, such statements should be printed especially in your front page provided opinions also sought from MTUC being the sole body representing all workers. 

Thank you

A.Prem Kumar
General Secretary
Association of Maybank Executives

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