KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 30 — As of November, a total of 1,305 medical graduates are still waiting for graduate training placements, according to the Ministry of Health (MOH).
Of that, a total of 418 graduates studied in local public universities, 544 graduated from private higher learning institutions, while the remaining 343 graduated from abroad.
Of the 1,305 people, a total of 192 medical graduates have registered with the Public Services Commission of Malaysia in order to be absorbed for placement under MOH to undergo graduate training.
Technically, a medical graduate will be given a temporary registration under the Malaysian Medical Council (MMC) for the purpose of undergoing training in accredited hospitals.
MMC is a regulatory body which registers graduates and medical graduates who have graduated from universities recognised by the council in accordance with Medical Act 1971.
Senator Kesavadas Achyuthan Nair asked Health Minister Dr Adham Baba in the Dewan Negara last December 21 on the recognition status of medical specialists who have graduated from foreign universities, as he claimed that even well-known overseas universities were not accredited by MOH.
Dr Adham stated that MOH indeed recognises doctors who have pursued specialisation programmes abroad since the 1970s, before the Masters of Medicine programmes were introduced at local universities in Malaysia.
“There are various medical specialisation areas from countries such as the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, Australia, United States of America, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore, which have been recognised by the government,” Dr Adham mentioned in a written Parliamentary reply on December 21.
To date, a total of 132 specialisation programmes are being offered in the country and
178 programmes offered by foreign institutions which have been recognised by MMC.
However, it is noted that contract medical officers are not eligible for the Hadiah Latihan Persekutuan (HLP), a full scholarship by MOH for doctors to pursue specialisation programmes in public universities while working.
Although doctors may proceed with parallel pathways on their own, they still need a certain number of years of training in either an MOH or a university hospital to become a specialist.