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Allied health professionals in Malaysia to be regulated under new act

by on October 17, 2016 | Top Stories

Allied health professionals in Malaysia to be regulated under new act

If you're currently studying a allied health course, do note that a new act will soon come into effect to regulate several professions in this field, terms of registration and practising certificate requirements.

On 4 February 2016, the new Allied Health Professions Act 2016 (AHPA) received royal assent and is expected to come into force early 2017. The primary purpose of this Act is to regulate the registration and practice of these allied health professions.

These professions are largely categorised into three groups:

  1. clinical (12 professions)
  2. public health (four professions)
  3. laboratory work (seven professions)

Presently, there are 23 job titles in the list of allied health professions that will be regulated under the AHPA. It includes:

  • audiologists
  • dietitians
  • entomologists
  • physiotherapists
  • medical physicists
  • nutritionists
  • clinical scientists (i.e. biochemists, biomedical, embryologists, medical geneticists and microbiologist)
  • occupational therapists
  • speech-language therapists
  • radiation therapists
  • diagnostic radiographers
  • medical laboratory technologists
  • dental technologists
  • environmental health officers
  • health education officers
  • food service officers
  • forensic science officers
  • medical social officers

Under the AHPA, the Malaysian Allied Health Professions Council will be established to regulate these allied health professions. The AHPA will also be responsible for issuing practicing certificates.

The AHPA requires all persons covered by the Act to be registered as an allied health practitioner within 12 months after the Act comes into effect; they may not practise unless they have registered with the Council. To qualify for registration, one must possess a recognised qualification and have not been convicted of an offence involving fraud, dishonesty or an offence punishable with imprisonment for more than two years. In addition, the Council may also determine other prerequisite requirements that need to be fulfilled as part of the registration process.

Subsequently, a registered practitioner may also apply to be registered as an expert if the criteria laid out by the AHPA and the Council are met. This includes, amongst others, the attendance of a specialised training relating to his allied health profession in a recognised training institution, and a recognised qualification awarded by a recognised training institution.

In addition to the registration requirement, a practitioner must also apply to the Council for a practising certificate which will specify the address of the practitioner’s principal place of practice and all other places of practice of the registered practitioner. A practising certificate is valid for a period of two years, and renewal is also subjected to an assessment of competency.

Sources for this article include:

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