Medical Act to get a boost via amendment, says Health Minister

PETALING JAYA: The proposal to amend the Medical Act 1971 (Act 50) will receive the much-needed boost with a joint memorandum between the Health Ministry and the Higher Education Ministry, says Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad (pic).

The Health Minister said the report will be submitted to the Cabinet soon as part of efforts to address issues related to the parallel pathway programme.

Dr Dzulkefly said the move was agreed upon after a meeting with Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir on Thursday over the proposed amendments to Act 50.

In a post on X platform, Dr Dzulkefly dubbed the meeting as “historic”, adding that a firm understanding was achieved between both ministries.

“Any disorder will be resolved with the joint memorandum submitted to the Cabinet in the near future,” he said in the post.

The Health Ministry, in a statement, said the meeting was held to further examine the programme and to find solutions to ensure the knowledge gained by the housemen adhere to the highest standards.

“Based on the discussions in the meeting, a memorandum will be presented to the Cabinet for further approval, aligning with the ministry’s target to provide optimal healthcare services to the public,” it said in a Facebook post on Thursday.

Also present at the meeting were Higher Education secretary-general Datuk Seri Dr Zaini Ujang and Health director-general Datuk Dr Muhammad Radzi Abu Hassan, who is also Malaysian Medical Council (MMC) president.

On April 2, Dr Dzulkefly said the ministry would propose to the Cabinet to expedite the proposed amendments to Act 50 by the next Parliament sitting in June.

Pending the Cabinet’s decision, he said the ministry would strive to ensure that those who have successfully completed their training under the programme be eligible for registration as specialists under the Act.

The Act requires a registered medical practitioner to be registered with the MMC, in which the council is also the sole authority to determine which doctor can become a specialist and has the power to recognise specialist qualifications.

The Star recently reported that MMC refused to recognise the Fellowships of four Malaysian heart and lung trainee surgeons from the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh despite them passing their exams under the programme.

Currently, there are 14 heart and lung surgeons left in the public service, with several retiring in a few years while over 1,500 heart and lung disease patients are urgently needing surgery.

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