Bad situation for Kuantan Taxi drivers, too
Posted September 17, 2007on:
Why pay RM80 for a RM1 check?
KUALA LUMPUR: Taxi drivers want to know why they have to pay RM80 for a medical check-up at a panel clinic, when they can get the same examination for RM1 at a government hospital.
Under a new scheme to increase public service vehicle safety in the wake of the Bukit Gantang bus crash, the Road Transport Department has introduced mandatory health screening for all public service vehicle (PSV) licences, goods driving licences (GDL) and conductor licence (KON) holders.
Yesterday, the Wilayah Persekutuan Taxi Owners and Drivers Association, the Kuala Lumpur Taxi Workers Association and the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Radio Taxi Association, which together represent about 3,000 cabbies, slammed the RTD’s eKesihatan scheme for placing yet another financial burden on taxi drivers.
Cheras MP Tan Kok Wai, who chaired the news conference, said: “The tests cost RM80, the equivalent of two days income for the drivers, and they have to pay it out of their own pockets.”
He said it would be better to allow them to go to a government hospital where they could undergo all the tests for RM1.
Wilayah Persekutuan Taxi Owners and Drivers Association secretary Hiew Pow Man said the eKesihatan scheme was redundant because PSV licence holders already had to go for a physical when they renewed their licences.
Previously, they paid RM50 for new applications and RM10 for renewals.
Asked to comment, RTD deputy director-general Solah Mat Hassan said the department had no objections to taxi drivers going to government hospitals for their check-ups, “provided the hospitals can link up with our online eKesihatan system and submit the medical reports to us”.
The associations are trying to meet with Transport Minister Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy in the next two weeks to ask for a waiver of the RM80 fee if the ministry insists on going ahead with the eKesihatan scheme, scheduled to begin on Oct 1.
The scheme had also raised some eyebrows in the medical fraternity.
The Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) questioned the selection of Supremme Systems as the gateway provider for the programme, and called on its members not to accept the appointment as panel clinic for the eKesihatan programme until further discussions with RTD.
Federation of Private Medical Practitioners Associations Malaysia president Dr Steven Chow said doctors were not in favour of the scheme.