Health Minister Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad (pic) said the fast track programme will cut down housemanship training from two years to 18 months by waiving the last posting of those excel.
"We hope it will reduce the congestion and cut down the waiting time for graduates," he said.
The programme is expected to be implemented next year, involving at least 10% of the total number of housemen undergoing training.
"We are very aware of the long waiting list that has delayed the entry of housemen for training. There are actually many obstacles that contribute to this," said Dr Dzulkefly.
"A major one is there is simply not enough quota (places) to absorb all medical graduates.
"It gets worse because there are so many graduates each year from the 31 medical schools in Malaysia, not counting the ones from overseas too," he said.
Dr Dzulkefly added that this was further exacerbated by the limited number of hospitals that could provide the training.
"Out of 145 hospitals nationwide, only 45 have sufficient facilities and specialists that can accommodate housemanship programmes.
"Therefore, the ministry has recently received permission from the Cabinet to reduce the training period for housemen who perform with excellence," he said at a dialogue held in conjunction with Parti Amanah Negara's three-year anniversary celebration here Saturday (Sept 22).
Dr Dzulkefly said the ministry was now in the midst of determining and tuning the criteria that had to be fulfilled by housemen in order to qualify for the programme.