Allied Health Professions Act to be Enforced on 1 July 2020

The Minister of Health has by a gazette notification published on 25 June 2020, appointed 1 July 2020 as the date on which the Allied Health Professions Act 2016 (“Act”) will come into operation.
The Act will apply to the profession of allied health, namely any profession which has a direct or an indirect effect on patient care or on the health of an individual or the population, as set out in the Second Schedule to the Act. The Second Schedule presently sets out a list of 23 professions including audiologist, dietician, physiotherapist, nutritionist, speech-language therapist, diagnostic radiographer and dental technologist.
The Act establishes the Malaysian Allied Health Professions Council (“Council”) whose responsibilities include –
  • registration of registered practitioners of allied health professions;
  • determining the qualifications and prerequisite requirements of allied health professions;
  • regulate the practice of allied health professions;
  • regulate the ethics and professional conduct of registered practitioners; and
  • supervise matters relating to allied health professions, including training, competency and professional development.
The Act confers authority on the Council to establish from time to time a Disciplinary Authority and an Investigating Committee and sets out the sanctions that may be imposed by the Council on registered practitioners.
The Council is empowered under the Act to issue guidelines and directives for the purposes of implementing the provisions of the Act. The Act also provides guidance on advertisements by a registered practitioner or any person who engages or employs a registered practitioner.
The Allied Health Professions Regulations (Fees) 2020 was also gazetted on the same day and will come into force on the same day as the Act. It is anticipated that a set of regulations to implement the provisions of the Act will be gazetted on or before the Act comes into operation.
The Act is welcomed as it complements the Medical Act 1971 which regulates medical practitioners, the Medical Assistants (Registration) Act 1977 which regulates medical assistants in Peninsular Malaysia and the Traditional and Complementary Medicine Act 2016 which regulates traditional and complementary medicine practitioners.
It is hoped that the establishment of a regulatory framework over the allied health profession will set and raise the standards of that profession.