BALIK PULAU: There has been a misunderstanding over the issue of the pass requirement for SPM-level Bahasa Melayu (BM) for recruiting Grade UD41 medical officers, said Deputy Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahaya.
He said the decision was an initiative by the Health Ministry to uphold the national language, as the previous condition set by the Public Service Department (PSD) since 2003 did not require a pass in BM for the appointment of permanent medical officers in the civil service.
“Actually, it is not relaxing the requirement to pass BM but rather tightening the requirement to become a medical officer.
“The PSD has allowed them to be appointed even though they did not pass (BM) because at that time, there was a shortage of doctors and they had to be imported from outside.
“But now, we have discussed with the PSD to impose the pass requirement for BM. As the number of local medical graduates is also growing, we can set this condition.”
Dr Hilmi was speaking to reporters after flagging off the Penang leg of the 29th SEA Games Torch Run at SK Sungai Rusa here yesterday.
Dr Hilmi, who is also Balik Pulau MP, said the ministry would discuss with the Education Ministry (MoE) on how to enable medical practitioners who did not have SPM-level BM to only sit for the one subject, instead of six subjects as stated in the current requirement.
“Medical graduates who are doing their housemanship at the hospital do not require a pass in BM.
“However, if they wish to become UD41 medical officers, they need to pass the subject in SPM, and we will discuss this with MoE so that they only need to take that one subject,” he said.
“They have at least two years to pass the SPM-level BM paper while undergoing their housemanship if they choose to serve in the government sector.
“If they want to work in a private hospital or open their own clinic, they do not have to do so,” he said. — Bernama