Urology Parallel Pathway Is ‘Halal’, Says Urologists’ Group

The Malaysian Urological Association maintains that the urology parallel pathway programme isn’t commercially driven, pointing out that it is recognised by MMC and was legitimately started upon instruction by Cabinet, Health Minister, MOH, and Health DG.

KUALA LUMPUR, April 16 – The Malaysian Urological Association (MUA) has defended the urology parallel pathway programme, maintaining its compliance with regulations and dismissing claims of commercial interests.

In a statement posted on Facebook today, MUA president Dr Noor Ashani Md Yusoff rebuffed allegations suggesting impropriety in the programme’s inception and operation.

“There are numerous parallel pathways in the medical field. One of them is the urology parallel pathway organised by the Ministry of Health (MOH), in collaboration with MUA and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons (RCSP) of Glasgow.

“I hope the statement (by the Malay Consultative Council’s education bureau chairman) is not directed at us.

“The urology parallel pathway programme was initiated in a ‘halal’ (lawful) manner under the directive of the Malaysian government, including directives from the Cabinet, Health Minister, Ministry of Health (MOH), and Health director-general,” Dr Noor Ashani said. 

“If it is directed at us, it is a very serious accusation against the Malaysian government and MOH. It is also very disappointing for all of us at MUA,” he added. Dr Noor Ashani pointed out that the urology parallel pathway programme is recognised by the Malaysian Medical Council (MMC).

Dr Noor Ashani also said that MUA does not receive any monetary compensation from MOH for its involvement in the programme. Instead, MUA funds are utilised to support trainees throughout their training period.

“I would like to emphasise that the urology parallel pathway programme is not commercially driven. There is no specific payment given to RCSP Glasgow or MUA. It is only established to assist the government in producing more urology specialists in the country, ultimately improving the quality of urology services nationwide,” Dr Noor Ashani said.

“I hope my explanation sheds light on any ambiguity for some parties.”

MUA’s statement comes in response to remarks made by Prof Emeritus Ibrahim Shah Abu Shah, chairman of the Malay Consultative Council’s education bureau, during a press conference on Monday, who argued that the parallel pathway programme was unnecessary.

“There is no need for such a programme to be approved, especially considering that this programme originates from a university in the United Kingdom. What’s peculiar is that the university itself does not recognise their own programme. This is what troubles me. How are we supposed to accept it?” Ibrahim said in a video of the press conference posted by UtusanTV.

Ibrahim, who is also former vice chancellor of Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), further claimed the Health Ministry was not given a proper explanation, leading to a push for an amendment to the Medical Act 1971 (Act 50) to enable cardiothoracic surgeons trained under the parallel pathway programme to be registered as specialists.

Nephrologist Dr Rafidah Abdullah, a consultant physician at Putrajaya Hospital, objected to Ibrahim labelling the programme as “haram”. 

“Don’t simply attach such labels,” she stated on X. “I am a product of this programme. Does that make my expertise ‘haram’ as well?”

You may also like