E-hailing drivers are against the government’s move to set the fee for the mandatory medical examination, required for PSV license application or renewal, at RM80. Some private clinics charge as low as RM20, according to the Malaysia E-Hailing Drivers Association (Mehda).

The Road Transport Department (JPJ) issued a circular dated August 20 to the health ministry and Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) on the new ruling, which includes revised guidelines and charges.

Mehda president Daryl Chong said that prior to this, panel clinics have been deciding on the amount, and some clinics have been willingly charging a lower price to help e-hailing drivers.

“In a bid to help our driver members nationwide, Mehda approached many clinics since May 2019 requesting them to impose only RM20 for the medical examination. A good number of them responded positively by charging a nominal fee of RM20 for the medical examination. The clinics that agreed to be one of our panels know very well they do not make any profit from this, which is more of a CSR initiative to give back to society,” Chong explained.

“With such nominal charges, these clinics, however, obliged with the examination requirement and willingly provided drivers with affordable medical examination since the start of our campaign. Mehda realised that the clinics took it upon themselves to foot the cost as part of their advertising and promotions cost. Right now, there are 135 panel clinics nationwide that have agreed to provide Mehda members with the medical examination at RM20 per person,” he added.

The e-hailing drivers association says that while the government’s decision to set a standardised fee was probably to prevent clinics from overcharging, forcing a standard rate on clinics “only deprive some of their will to do good to the society” besides adding financial burden to the drivers.

“We do not see a reason for the government to set a standard price for the medical examination, especially when e-hailing fares nationwide is not even regulated. This is an unpopular and unnecessary move. Mehda calls on the government to scrap this standard price ruling and revert to the previous practice of letting clinics decide how much they want to charge,” the Mehda president urged.