8:06 AM

First, let us praise all the rescue and medical personnel involved in the recent bus crash near Genting Highlands.  It must have been really busy and required a tremendous amount of effort. Condolences to the victims and their families.

Thank you also to the people who lined up by the roadside to gawk and stare at the crash site. You just wasted the rescuers response time and the first responders had to waste energy to cordon off the area. BRAVO!

Back to the main topic of M.C. When I was a little boy, I was raised at a prison somewhere in the Middle East where people can attempt to escape by climbing a wall up to civilization (if you don’t get this, please go watch The Dark Knight Rises). 

Back then, I thought M.C was “minta cuti”. Minta, meaning POLITELY ask, request etc. Nowadays it is MESTI cuti. Those are capital letters and supposed to denote shout. It means:

“Doctor shut up, you are useless and a complete waste of my 1 Ringgit and taxpayer’s money if you don’t give me MC. I MUST get an MC.”

Officers in Klinik Kesihatan and Emergency Departments have gotten a lot of this nonsense. A lot of people assume that whenever they see a doctor it is their human right to get an MC. I have no idea how to convey to patients that MC is a privilege for really sick people. It is at our own discretion.  The situation is made worse when politicians try and be a hero without understanding the real situation. There are cases when politicians call up a particular doctor just to inquire why we don’t give MCs to patient and threaten doctors with their job.
Earlier this year, there was a report in the newspaper stating that Malaysia’s productivity is low compared to other Asian nations because of the long holidays we have. Maybe next year doctors will be blamed.

“Malaysian GDP and productivity at all time low due to over issuance of Medical Certificates by doctors”  The Bintang newspaper, 22nd August 2014.

Doctors are not cruel to deny a patient’s MC. We give MC when it is necessary. There was a case when an employer threatened to sue a doctor for giving its worker a few days leave, deemed as too long. It turned out that MC was altered. What was 1 day, was changed to 7. Patient’s might think they are smart but we have records to see how long an MC was given.

For new MOs out there, when you write MC, please write 1 as SATU and cross out the remaining space. Also always keep your chop along wherever you go. Don’t leave it around the place. It is a commodity. Some people are always on the lookout for your chop to build an MC dispensing factory. TRUST NO ONE. In hospital, your HO can use it to forge your signature in your logbook! While other staff may you use for their own gain. You can never know until its too late.
The ‘nice’ ones will say, 
“Takpe doctor, bagi je lebih. Nanti kene tolak gaji kalau takde MC’.
Don’t fall for it cause if the employer suddenly chase after you…YOUR gaji kena tolak for good.

There is also such a thing as MC day. It usually falls on a day after a long weekend or the odd day out before a weekend. I predict the next THE BIG MC SALE to be on 14th October 2013. It’s a Monday before Hari Raya Haji (15th-16th October). So people, try not to work in Green Zone or Jabatan Pesakit Luar on these days. While others have Monday blues, in ED we have Sunday blues. Patients will come for MCs with lame excuses

“Saya rasa sejuk sangat, pastu panas. Dah 5 hari dah. Ada batuk sikit, uhuk, uhuk (time tu la nak batuk nye)”

“5 hari kene cucuk ambil darah ye Adik”

“Hah, cucuk????? Tapi saya nak ambil MC je. Jalan jam bang,tak leh balik esok”

That’s how it usually goes. For me, if you have documented fever, broken bones, dehydration with AGE, I will definitely give MC, no need to request for it. Patients will go to great lengths to get it. Some will resort to vandalizing the hospital property and shout vulgarities. I will politely ask them to leave the clinic (guards at my place are crappy). If you can’t respect others, I will not entertain you.

So, after my postings so far, do you still want to be a doctor in Malaysia?

Here’s MC Hammer for all the young ones. This is what we call MUSIC during our time. ENJOY :) 

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  1. i always feel shy to ask for mc. once in office, a guy spread flu to me. we had the same symptoms, and he managed to get an mc, but not me. why? cos i did not ask. mana aci ini macam

    1. From my observation, guys are more bold to ask for MCs. Girls sometimes bring along their dads or boyfriends and ask for MC.haha

    2. Government MCs are monitored, and are harder to be issued unless there is evidence of fever, injury, conditions that patients are found to be unfit for work or need good rest. So if the conditions are not that bad the doctors would not issue MC. This is the reason why government MCs are more widely accepted by employers especially those work in Singapore, because MC is given on a stricter basis.
      In certain cases doctors would actually ask the patient if MC is needed to take leave for rest.
      But don't be shy to try ask for MCs,doctors would give it if there is justifiable reason. But don't ask for more than needed,because the doctors would have to answer for i, and it would make doctors misunderstood that one is trying to see them just for MCs...

    3. Thank you Serene Frances Wee. Very well said

  2. I am in GP practise as well. 9 out of 10 people who visit the clinic is there for MC. Like seriously my 74 y.o father can work, drive everyday from ipoh to kampar to lecture and come bk only at night. No complains. Why such young people like you can't do that? If you don't give them MC they dun even want medication. They shout harass and vandalize. Me being a female with all the crimes going on put on a brave face and deny hoping that they wont smash my car or do something to me. What do we get in return? More complains, insecurity and what else.
    It's no longer noble to be a doctor in this country I guess.
    One thing I have learned is many Malaysian's are lazy, low motivated and pampered lot. Not pointing fingers. No reason for anyone to get sensitive but this is just my opinion.

    1. Very well said, inthira. I share the same sentiments. It is really tough trying to do a good job and to do things the right way when some patients can be so verbally abusive and threatening. People seem to forget that a medical certificate is given if someone is deemed not fit to work. And that is up to the judgment and discretion of the doctor based on his examination and observation. Nowadays people ask for MC for the stupidest things such as having a sick child (they need to take care of the kid at home), not being able to wake up in the morning and one lady even requested for an MC after coming in to do a urine pregnancy test! They treat it as an escape route for getting the day off without having their annual leave deducted in the process. Sometimes I feel used as a doctor and it is a sad state of affairs when we are reduced to this level. Even worse, some of our fellow colleagues are even freely handing out MCs like candies without any good reason. I think the public and everyone in the medical profession need some awareness regarding this issue and the latter need to behave more professionally instead of being so lenient and slack in their jobs just because they do not want any trouble or lose their business.

  3. I wish the government will come up with some kinda online database where employers can key in the MC serial number to verify if the MC is genuine.
    As an employer I have come across too many fake government hospital MC's and even a few confessions that the MC has been bought.

  4. In my entire working life, I've only gotten 1 medical cert. Every time I'm sick, I feel that if I don't have a fever, doctors won't give me an MC. Even if I feel like crap, I always go to work. I can't work of course, I just stare at my computer the whole day. LOL. So I have a question, will doctors give MC when you have flu without fever?

  5. Dear Sir,

    I work in the private sector and my company has panel clinic. Unfortunately, the entitlement is too low, only RM50.00 per visit and if it exceeds we have to pay the extra ourselves. Problem is, the company does not accept MC or claim if we go to government clinic. Is that acceptable? Is it possible to fight back on this.

  6. Hi Mr Rais. I do not think it is fair to deny you using a government issued clinic. As long it is by legal means and you really are sick it should be OK. I suggest you discuss with your employer or your employee association. Maybe you can also contact SOCSO to discuss on this issue.


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