Draft amendments to Medical Act ready, stakeholders to be engaged before Cabinet review, says Dzulkefly

BALIK PULAU: The draft amendments to the Medical Act 1971 have been completed to address issues related to the parallel pathway programme, says Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad.

The Health Minister said the draft had been submitted to the Attorney General's Chambers (AGC) for review.

"The draft is currently being checked by the AGC.

"There will be engagement sessions with stakeholders, including the Malaysian Medical Council (MMC), Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA), and the Higher Education Ministry," he said during a press conference after officiating at the opening of the Air Putih Health Clinic in Balik Pulau on Friday (June 7).

"Once the stakeholder engagements are completed, we will present the amendments to the Cabinet, aiming to table the Bill for amendment in the coming Parliament session this month.

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"We hope to table it in the first week of the sitting so that it can be debated in the third week," Dzulkefly added.

On May 27, Dzulkefly announced that the Medical Act 1971 would be amended to resolve issues related to the parallel pathway programme.

In March this year (2024), he informed the Dewan Rakyat that only 14 cardiothoracic surgeons were working under his ministry.

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

Some of the existing cardiothoracic surgeons are also nearing retirement.

Malaysian graduates sent by the government to study cardiothoracic surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCSEd) are unable to practise in Malaysia as their qualifications are not accepted by the MMC.

In response, the MMC stated that it had never recognised the RCSEd programme.

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