As a sector with relatively low price elasticity, this increased demand suggests ample space for new players.
If you’re a medical practitioner considering private practice, this post provides a full guide on opening a private clinic in Malaysia.
Here’s how we’ll break it down:
- mandatory requirements to open a private clinic
- the various licenses needed
- a step-by-step guide to registering your clinic
- additional statutory compliance obligations
- just for fun, the penalty for operating an unlicensed clinic
Requirements to open a clinic in Malaysia
Private clinics fall under the authority of the Private Healthcare Facilites & Services Act 1998, also known as Act 586, which means an entity must meet the following requirements to open a private clinic in Malaysia:.
- Have a registered sole proprietorship, partnership, or private limited company under SSM.
- Be a registered medical practitioner in Malaysia.
- Possess an Annual Practicing Certificate from the Malaysian Medical Council (MMC).
- Have a business premise that passes inspection by the Malaysian Private Medical Practice Control Section (CKAPS).
For partnerships, at least one of the partners must be a registered medical practitioner, while for a private limited company, at least one of the board members must be a registered medical practitioner.
These come in two forms: general and industry-specific licenses.
These are licenses needed to run a business on a physical premise and are issued by the local authorities.
- Premise license
- Signboard license
- Some districts encourage applying for both simultaneously under a composite license
These are licenses unique to those opening private clinics in Malaysia, and include:
- Annual Practicing Certificate from the MMC
- Certificate of registration via Borang A
- Updated clinical waste disposal documentation
- Updated vector control documentation
Step-by-step guide to opening a clinic
Step 1: Register your business entity with SSM
Private clinics are allowed to operate as one of three business entities:
- Sole proprietorship
- Conventional partnership
- Private limited company
Each of them comes with their own strengths and weaknesses but it comes down to your long-term plans.
If you foresee growing the business, a private limited company is the better vehicle.
If you plan to remain a small practice indefinitely, a Limited Liability Partnership is a fine choice.
Step 2: Obtain signboard approval from Local Authorities
A signboard license is permission from the Local Authorities (also known as Pihak Berkuasa Tempatan) for a business to display a signboard outside your clinic. The Local Authority in question is based on where your clinic will be located.
The nature of your business must be clearly stated on the signboard in Bahasa Malaysia, along with your company name and business license number.
The Malay portion must be approved by Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka and usually takes one to three days.
Step 3: Fill & submit Borang A to UKAPS
Here is a link to the official MOH Borang A.
Here is a link to the official MOH Borang A checklist.
Before you fill in the form, here are some things to take note of:
- if filling in the form by hand, use a black pen and ALL CAPS
- you need to include the complete proposed floor plan drawn on a scale of 1:100
- all documents must be certified by a Commissioner of Oaths
- there should be two copies of Borang A (both complete with signatures)
- you must pay a fee of RM500 to have your form processed
If there are no issues with your proposed floor plan, you’ll receive a letter saying ‘No Objection’.
At this point you can begin Step 4.
Step 4: Carry out premise renovations
The Ministry of Health has very specific requirements that clinics must adhere to regarding:
- necessary infrastructure
- documents to be displayed
- pharmaceutical services
Rather than list them out, we’ll just link you to the official checklist here.
Have fun renovating!
Step 5: Undergo premise inspection by UKAPS
Once renovations are complete, notify CKAPS by email or phone.
Upon notification, your premise will be given an inspection date where UKAPS personel will make sure it follows all MOH guidelines.
If all is well, your application will be sent to CKAPS.
Step 6: Undergo application approval by CKAPS
Expect this application to take up to 30 days, at the end of which you’ll be notified that your application has been successful.
You need to pay a fee of RM1000, after which you will be allowed to print out a form called Borang B (sample) which is to be always displayed in the clinic.
And congratulations, your clinic can now legally operate!
Remember to source trustworthy suppliers for your medical supplies.
Additional statutory compliance needs
As you need to hire staff for your clinic, you will need to register with the various statutory bodies that govern taxes, wages, and human resources in Malaysia, namely:
- PCB: Monthly tax deductions on salaries owed to the Inland Revenue Board (LHDN)
- EPF: Contributions to the Employee Provident Fund
- SOCSO: Contributions to the Social Security Organisation
- EIS: Contributions to the Employment Insurance Scheme
- HRDF: Contributions to the Human Resource Development Fund
Collectively, these are referred to as payroll obligations, and would be too much to include in this post.
We highly recommend giving our first-time employer’s guide to payroll obligations a read.
Penalty for running an unlicensed clinic
Cases of unlicensed clinics and medical practitioners in Malaysia routinely make headlines, usually after a surgery has gone wrong such as this botched plastic surgery attempt from a private residence.
The Malaysian government considers this a serious threat to public safety and has launched raids on illegal clinics and pharmacies in the past.
Individuals face a fine of up to RM300,000 or up to six years imprisonment, or both.
Companies face a fine of up to RM500,000.
If you are intent on a private practice, do it the right way despite how tedious the process is.
Let MISHU help open your clinic!
MISHU continues to assist many individuals and corporate entities in Malaysia’s private healthcare sector with registration, business license application, and statutory compliance. Along the way, we’ve built a keen understanding of the process and can help set up a private clinic in Malaysia with zero delays or compromise on compliance. Get in touch!