MACC busts express health checks syndicate, arrests seven doctors

According to Abdul Aziz (centre), these doctors had approved the compulsory PSV health screening applications for the drivers without conducting the required full medical health checks. — Picture by Opalyn Mok
According to Abdul Aziz (centre), these doctors had approved the compulsory PSV health screening applications for the drivers without conducting the required full medical health checks. — Picture by Opalyn Mok

GEORGE TOWN, Feb 15 — Seven doctors and one clinic assistant here have been arrested in an “express health check” sting by anti-corruption officials.

Penang Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) director Datuk Abdul Aziz Aban said six of the doctors were attached to private clinics while one is a government doctor.

The doctors are believed to be part of a syndicate of at least seven clinics offering "express" medical check ups to drivers who are renewing or applying for a Public Service Vehicle (PSV) licence.

According to Abdul Aziz, these doctors had approved the compulsory PSV health screening applications for the drivers without conducting the required full medical health checks.

“At about 3pm yesterday, we raided seven clinics located at different locations in Batu Ferringhi, Gelugor, Perai, Bukit Mertajam and Pekan Lama along with two other private kiosks and premises,” he told a press conference this morning.

The sole government doctor arrested happened to be standing in for his father at the clinic.

“We also arrested a 41-year-old clinic assistant and two runners during yesterday's raid,” he said.

All of those arrested are between the ages of 32 and 74.

He said they have been monitoring the seven clinics since last December.

It is learnt that the clinics were offering the "express" health checks for between RM5 and RM30 each.

“We are unable to estimate how many customers they had but we found 1,259 clinic receipts that we believe could be for the health checks,” he said.

He added that initial questioning of one of the doctors revealed that the clinics have been offering the express health checks in the past decade.

Abdul Aziz also believed that the services were spread through word of mouth and the clinics will only take in those referred by bus and taxi drivers who were their customers.

“We have a list of those who had used this service and since our investigations started in December, we found that this service is no secret to taxi and bus drivers,” he said.

He stressed that this “express” health checks can lead to serious consequences especially when bus and taxi drivers with health issues were given a clean bill of health.

On the two private premises and kiosks they had also raided, he said the two runners were believed to be offering fake approved and signed health screening documents to bus and taxi drivers without them needing to go to a clinic.

Abdul Aziz said they seized 1,600 Road Transport Department (RTD) health screening forms from the two premises where 700 were already signed by names of non-existent doctors and stamped. They also seized 1,259 fake clinic receipts.

“Based on our investigations, we believe the clinics and the runners have been offering this service between four to 10 years, this is why they are so popular among bus and taxi drivers,” he said.

All nine arrested have been remanded this morning.

They will be investigated under Section 18 of the MACC Act 2009 for providing documents such as receipts that are false or contains false details with intention to deceive the principle.

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