PETALING JAYA: Medicine, dentistry and pharmacy will not be among the courses offered sponsorships by the Public Service Department (PSD) this year.
Its sponsorships will only be for those pursuing first degree studies in public universities, premier polytechnics and government-linked universities that have been selected by the department for convertible loans.
“Fields that are not being sponsored are medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, education and those that require the students to take up licences such as piloting and diving, public university franchise programmes, and double degrees or twinning programmes, except those allowed.
“Also not sponsored are nursing programmes, para-medical and pre-service programmes, professional certifications like the ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) and unsubsidised part-time, online or long-distance programmes,” the department said in a statement.
Terms for the scholarship include a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.30, and applicants must have a remaining 12 months of studies, not including the current semester.
“Fields that have been applied to must have obtained full accreditation from the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) or be recognised by a professional body (if applicable),” said the PSD.
Applications opened on March 20 and will close on April 2. The start of the sponsored sessions will begin in September.
Under the terms of the convertible loans, the loans can be converted into full scholarships and exempted from repayments if the students serve in the public service after the end of their studies.
For those serving in government-linked companies after their course, the repayment rate is 25%, while for those working in the private sector in the country, it will be 50%.
Those not falling into the three categories will be required to pay in full.
As of Dec 31, 2022, there were a total of 6,985 doctors, 52,666 medical officers and 69,608 nurses serving with the government.
The government is targeting to achieve a ratio of one medical officer per 400 people by 2025.
In 2021, the ratio of medical officers in the public and private healthcare sectors to the population stood at one medical officer per 420.