PETALING JAYA: The Government must have the political will to reduce the number of medical schools it recognises as it extends its moratorium on local schools, said a society of physicians.
Malaysian Physicians for Social Responsibility President-elect Datuk Dr Abdul Hamid Abdul Kadir said the Government could start by removing foreign schools that did not meet standards from its list.
He said the Health Ministry’s proposal that the moratorium be extended was a welcome move but would only be effective if the options to study at foreign schools was also reduced.
Some students who do not qualify for medical studies at local public and private universities often get into foreign medical schools that have lax entry requirements, he explained.
Some senior doctors and specialists in government hospitals have for many years complained about low quality graduates returning from some of these foreign schools and have asked the Government to stop recognising them.
There are 394 recognised foreign schools listed in the Second Schedule of the Medical Act.
On Monday, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said that he expected the moratorium on new medical courses and institutions, imposed by the Government in 2011, to continue for at least another five years.
In 2011, the then Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin said the freeze, effective May 1 that year, would end April 30, 2016.
According to the Health Ministry, 4,140 graduates took up housemanship duties last year while there were 10,835 house officers in 44 government hospitals nationwide.