Blocked From HLP, While Parallel Pathway Not Recognised — Concerned And Clueless Medical Officer

A medical officer is disheartened about the lack of equal opportunities for specialist pathways in Malaysia for contract MOs despite passing MEDeX, compounded by systemic issues and lack of alternative pathways for specialist training, especially surgical.

I am writing to voice urgent concerns regarding the current state of specialist training recruitment under the Ministry of Health (MOH). 

As a medical officer in Malaysia, I, along with many of my colleagues, am facing significant challenges and uncertainties in pursuing further specialisation due to unclear policies and restrictive practices within the health care system.

Today marks the announcement of the Hadiah Latihan Persekutuan (HLP) programme finalists. While some celebrate their acceptance, others are left disheartened, not due to lack of merit or dedication, but because of systemic barriers that impede our progress.

One such issue is the dwindling number of medical officers, exacerbated by a halt in permanent placements. This year, it was declared that no further medical officers would be transitioned into permanent roles, a decision that undermines our stability and future within the health care system.

Additionally, I have personally encountered obstacles despite meeting academic prerequisites, such as passing the MEDeX examination, required for entry into specialist training. 

The prerequisite of gaining relevant departmental experience is a standard requirement; however, the inability to transfer to appropriate departments for this experience due to administrative decisions stymies many qualified candidates like myself.

Moreover, there is an evident lack of alternative pathways for specialist training, particularly in surgical specialties. This issue has sparked widespread debate and calls for recognition of parallel programmes, which could potentially alleviate some of these constraints.

The implications of these systemic issues are profound, not only affecting the careers of individual medical officers but also the overall quality of health care services in Malaysia. 

It is imperative that the MOH re-evaluates its policies and introduces more transparent, flexible pathways for specialist training.

This message is an appeal to raise awareness and prompt necessary changes. I urge fellow health care professionals and the public to support this call for reform, ensuring that the health care system can truly benefit from the dedication and potential of its medical officers.

The author is a medical officer at an MOH hospital in Kedah. CodeBlue is providing the author anonymity because civil servants are prohibited from writing to the media.

  • This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of CodeBlue.

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