The Private Aged Healthcare Facilities and Services Bill 2017 was tabled in the Dewan Rakyat on Monday.
The Bill was tabled by Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam for its first reading, and is expected to be passed during the current Parliament meeting, which ends on Nov 30.
Once the Bill is passed, centres caring for four or more persons above 60 years old must obtain an operating licence from the ministry’s director-general.
Consideration for approval will be given to matters such as the centre’s premises and the types of services offered.
An operating license is valid for a three-year period from the date of approval and cannot be assigned or transferred unless approved by the director-general.
The centre operators must also ensure that their staff are trained in basic life support.
The proposed law also prescribes that centres or facilities must provide a policy statement to a care recipient upon admission.
This includes providing a grievance mechanism to allow care recipients, their relatives or any person acting on their behalf to lodge a complaint.
Centres for the aged will be subject to inspection by two officers appointed by the director-general to ensure compliance of regulations.
The ministry’s director-general has the power suspend or revoke the licence of a centre, or order its closure.
A centre operator may voluntarily close the centre or facility, but must give three months’ notice to the health ministry’s director-general, which includes a report on the status of accommodation of care recipients.
The centre can also receive care recipients who are below 60 if it complies with the Care Centres Act 1993.
Failure to comply with the law could see offenders liable to fines ranging between RM5,000 and RM30,000.
The proposed law does not cover those providing care to their aged relatives, care centres or private healthcare facilities.
This article first appeared in The Star, on 23rd October 2017.