Zambry: No official discussion on opening UiTM cardiothoracic programme to non-bumis

Photo: Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR: There has been no discussion on the proposal to open the cardiothoracic surgery post-graduate programme at Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) to non-bumiputra students, says Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir.

In an interview with Berita Harian on Thursday (May 2), Zambry said that there are several basic points that need to be looked into before considering the proposal to accept non-bumiputra students for the programme.

He said the government is committed to finding the best solution, and stressed that the Health Ministry will lead efforts to resolve the issue.

"We have not discussed this matter as of yet and have not been officially informed about the proposal.

"It is important for us to resolve some basic issues before discussing the proposal," he was reported as saying after the Suara Anak Madani programme on Wednesday (May 1) in Kuala Kubu Baru.

Recently, online portal CodeBlue reported that UiTM is considering a proposal to expand its cardiothoracic surgery postgraduate programme to non-bumiputra trainee doctors.

UiTM's Medicine Faculty, professor Dr Raja Amin Raja Mokhtar, is reported to have proposed the matter as a solution to the issue of the unrecognised Cardiothoracic Surgery Advanced Degree Training or 'Parallel Pathway'.

This is because, he said, the UiTM-National Heart Institute's 'parallel pathway' cardiothoracic surgery training programme is the only one offered in the country.

On April 2, the Health Ministry announced that the Parallel Pathway Programme will be recognised, besides proposing that the Cabinet expedite the amendment of the Medical Act 1971 (Act 50) for that purpose.

On April 19, the Higher Education Ministry and Health Ministry agreed to resolve the issue with the programme for medical experts.

This comes after four graduates from the parallel pathway training with the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh in cardiothoracic surgery took legal action in the beginning of April, against the Malaysian Medical Council (MMC) for refusing to register them on the National Specialist Register (NSR).

This was the third known lawsuit against the MMC’s rejection of NSR specialist registration applications, in which judicial review applications were filed to legally challenge the independent regulatory body’s recent non-recognition of certain specialist training programmes.

The other two lawsuits were filed by a neurosurgeon with FRCS Ireland in neurosurgery and six pathology graduates in medical genetics from Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), a local university.

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