THE ban on new medical programmes is expected to continue for at least another five years.
The Health Ministry and the Education Ministry are preparing a memorandum for the Cabinet to continue with the ban, said Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam.
The current ban began in May 2011 and will expire on April 30 next year.
The move was to prevent the rapid increase in medical graduates and put the brakes on the rise in the number of housemen.
“This time around, we not only want to extend the ban, but to also tighten the entry requirements for medical courses,” he said in a written reply to Teresa Kok (DAP-Seputeh).
The ban is applicable to existing medical programmes in Malaysia’s 10 public universities, 12 local private providers, foreign medical schools and Malaysians studying medicine at about 50 accredited foreign universities.
Malaysia aims to have a doctor-patient ratio of 1:400 by 2020, a figure often regarded as the benchmark for a developed nation.
Dr Subramaniam noted that the ratio of housemen to patients was 1:4, compared to 1:10 in 2005.
He said that although the ratio was reduced, exposure to patients on the whole was almost the same because of the flexi-hour system, and increase in patients, specialists, hospitals and housemen’s exposure in specialist clinics, daily treatment centres, operating theatres, among others.
At the moment, housemen intake is being done every two months.
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