The firm initiated its practice in medical law and healthcare in the mid-1990’s, and has since seen it develop and grow into probably the largest dedicated medical law and healthcare practice group in a Malaysian legal firm and which is in a position to provide comprehensive advice and representation for all players in the healthcare industry. From our years of experience, we have gained a wealth of knowledge and practical understanding of the discipline and practice of medicine and dentistry and related industries. In addition, we have established substantial contacts with various medical/dental associations and regulatory bodies. Our courtroom experience is extensive and our lawyers are regularly involved in trials and appeals involving healthcare practitioners and hospitals. The numerous cases we have handled, both in the courts and before tribunals, include cases involving allegations of misdiagnosis, surgical mishaps, delayed treatment, the use of inappropriate equipment/devices, conflicts of interests and the use of controversial drugs.
Our practice also includes advising clients on legal developments as well as compliance with relevant legislation such as the Medical Act 1971 and the Private Healthcare Facilities and Services Act, 1998.
An area of concern to clients that we sometimes are called upon to assist is in regard to reputation and crisis management (for example, if an adverse medical event occurs). We are also sought after by clients to advise on new oﬀerings in the medical space (including new features of medical technology and applications).
With the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic, healthcare and the legal issues surrounding it have become a substantial item of concern. The medical law and healthcare team in RDL was well-prepared to take on such issues and to provide guidance to clients as well as stakeholders in the healthcare industry in Malaysia.
For example, we were engaged by the Association of Private Hospitals of Malaysia to advise its members on the private-public healthcare partnership that was much needed to address the demands that arose due to the pandemic. Healthcare practitioners who faced legal complications and dilemmas were provided with advice and support. In addition, members of the RDL medical law and healthcare team authored several articles to address some difficult medico-legal and medical ethics issues that arose due to the pandemic, including issues relating to patient honesty and the right of practitioners to refuse to treat patients. Webinars were also organised during the period of the Movement Control Order in Malaysia.
The current pandemic may well be the catalyst that has speeded up a growth in businesses involved in virtual healthcare consultations and digitalisation of healthcare in Malaysia – the firm has been actively consulted to provide advice to both domestic and foreign players.
Aside from the above, the more mundane commercial aspects of healthcare practice are not ignored. In this connection, we vet, review and draft documents such as by-laws, internal policies and template forms relating to the various operations of a hospital or the practice of healthcare practitioners (such as admission forms and consent forms) and various agreements relating to healthcare services and supplies.
We have represented general medical practitioners, dental practitioners as well as practitioners in various areas of specialisation, such as obstetricians & gynaecologists, cardiologists, haematologists, oncologists and plastic surgeons. Apart from acting for individual medical/dental practitioners, we advise the Medical Protection Society Limited and the Dental Protection Limited (both of which are based in the United Kingdom), private and public hospitals, various specialist medical associations, pharmaceutical companies and manufacturers of medical devices on various issues such as those relating to statutory, regulatory and ethical requirements.