MMA: Ministries disagree on medical graduate numbers

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 12 Mar 2016

PETALING JAYA: The Health Ministry and the Higher Education Ministry do not seem to share the same view over the huge number of medical graduates and the graduate quality issue, said a medical body.

“The Higher Education Ministry does not see any problem with producing so many of these graduates.

“Only the Health Ministry knows how hard it is to train each and every one of them.

“Our impression is that the Higher Education Ministry does not seem to appreciate the problems of the practitioners,” said the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) president Dr Ashok Zachariah Philip.

He has also backed the creation of a task force to address this problem.

The body also said various parties were pulling in different directions and a task force was needed to direct them towards the best interests of the country.

On Friday, Universiti Malaya medical faculty dean Prof Dr Adeeba Kamarulzaman said an independent task force was needed to address the medical graduate glut and the issue of their quality.

She said that extending the moratorium on new medical courses was not enough. Dr Ashok said that the issue had also led to the high dropout rate among housemen.

For this reason, he said the MMA had for many years urged the Health Ministry to impose the aptitude test to screen potential students before they entered medical and dentistry courses.

This was to ensure that only those cut out for the profession entered it, thus reducing the number, and subsequently the dropout rate.

On whether there was a need to drop some of the medical schools abroad that were not up to standard, Dr Ashok said that it was up to the Malaysian Medical Council (MMC) to decide.

However, he added that for local universities, this issue would entail a firm decision from the Malaysian Qualification Agency.

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