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Monday, April 29, 2024

Don’t take advantage of licensing rules, Nancy warns care centre owners


Nancy Shukri said owners of elderly care centres are given extensions if they demonstrate a commitment to meeting the government’s requirements.

PUTRAJAYA: Women, family, and community development minister Nancy Shukri has warned errant elderly care centre owners against abusing the leeway given to them during applications for licence registration and renewal.

“We don’t have to talk about amnesty anymore, as care centres are usually given 14 days (to apply).

“They can request an extension if they need it, as long as we can see their commitment to meeting the (legal) requirements.

“However, if the operators completely disregard us, then we are forced to take strict action,” she told reporters here today.

Nancy said leeway granted to centres to stay open during the application process is purely on humanitarian grounds.

However, she said, the ministry will not tolerate any negligence from operators, as “we don’t want residents living in poor conditions”.

She was responding to an FMT report on Saturday, in which the  Association for Residential Aged Care Operators president Delren Douglas called on the government to offer a two-year amnesty to elderly care centres that have been operating illegally.

Delren said an amnesty would encourage the centres to comply with the law and acceptable care standards.

He said there are about 2,000 centres without operating licences due to the “cumbersome and bureaucratic processes” involved.

He said licence approvals can take up to a year, and renewals six months.

Nancy said the ministry has taken action against more than 1,000 unregistered care centres.

She said a notice would first be issued to an unregistered care centre, requiring it to either register with the social welfare department within 14 days – extendable multiple times – or close.

If the centre fails to comply, it will be forced to shut down, and the owner will face charges for non-compliance. - FMT

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