KUALA LUMPUR: The Health Ministry has increased training slots for the Master of Medicine programme up to 1,500 beginning this year to encourage more medical officers to pursue their specialist studies, especially in critical areas.
Its Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa said this will be done in collaboration with the Higher Education Ministry to offer 23 specialist areas in eight public universities.
Apart from that, she said training slots under the parallel pathway specialist programme sponsored by the ministry have also been increased to 600 every year involving 14 specialist areas.
"The ministry also offers benefits that are similar to fully paid study leave and the Federal Training Prize to medical and dental officers appointed on a contract basis through the ministry’s specialist training programme and scholarships.
"It is for them to pursue their Master of Medicine, Master of Dentistry and specialist study in the parallel pathway at domestic and foreign institutions starting from the 2022/2023 academic session,” she said during a question and answer session in the Dewan Rakyat today (March 14).
She said this in response to a question from Datuk Dr Alias Razak (PN-Kuala Nerus) on the ministry’s initiative to encourage more doctors to further their specialist studies, especially in critical areas of expertise.
In addition, Dr Zaliha said, the ministry’s public health programme also offers a public health medical pre-specialty training with a mentor-mentee concept for permanent and contract medical officers who are interested in furthering their studies in the field of public health medicine.
Meanwhile, she said a total of 7,993 medical officers were currently pursuing their specialist studies under the Master of Medicine programme and parallel pathway, as of Dec 31, last year.
Of the total, 4,586 medical officers are furthering their specialist studies under the Master of Medicine programme, which covers 23 specialty areas, while 3,407 others are through the parallel pathway, which involves 14 specialty areas. - Bernama