Paper on parallel pathway program to be tabled for approval in June 5 Cabinet meeting

PETALING JAYA: The Cabinet paper on the parallel pathway will be presented during the June 5 meeting, says Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad.

The Health Minister said he had given a heads up on issues related to the specialist training program to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and early discussion will be held in this Wednesday’s (May 29) cabinet meeting.

The Star in March had reported that the shortage of cardiothoracic surgeons has left some 1,500 heart and lung disease patients in government hospitals in dire straits.

In March, Dzulkefly told the Dewan Rakyat that there were only 14 cardiothoracic surgeons working in the ministry.

When it was proposed that Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) temporarily open up its cardiothoracic surgery master's programme, it drew a storm of protest from racial conservatives including those from within the unity government alliance.

Critics of the proposal are adamant that UiTM maintain its bumiputra-only admissions policy despite the fact that the university already accepts foreign students.

Another aspect of the controversy is that Malaysian graduates who had been sent by the government to study cardiothoracic surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh were also unable to practise in Malaysia as their qualifications are not accepted by the MMC.

Four of these graduates have sued the MMC for refusing to register them on the National Specialist Register (NSR).

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