Building Bridges: Fostering Synergy for Specialist Training — Academy of Medicine of Malaysia

AMM reiterates calls for a national body to harmonise specialist training in Master’s programmes and parallel pathways. It says MMC must resolve issues for specialists denied NSR registration.

The Academy of Medicine of Malaysia (AMM) commends the proactive collaboration between the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) in addressing crucial issues pertaining to the parallel pathway programme (PPP) for medical professionals.

The recent announcement by health minister Dzulkefly Ahmad regarding the joint memorandum to be submitted to the Cabinet reflects a significant step towards ensuring the quality of health care services in Malaysia.

The Master’s programmes play a vital role in fostering specialisation and expertise in various medical fields. Simultaneously, the parallel pathway programme offers an alternative route to be a medical specialist, thus contributing to the expansion of our specialist workforce.

Hence, every effort must be made to strengthen both training programmes and ensure completion of training so that trainees are able to register in the National Specialist Register (NSR).

The MOH and AMM have collaborated for over two decades to discuss, debate, and fine-tune the various aspects of setting up the NSR. In 2006, the MOH had proposed that the AMM be entrusted to initiate and maintain the NSR under the purview of the National Credentialing Committee, chaired by the president of the Malaysian Medical Council (MMC), who is also the health director-general.

A year before the NSR was formally launched in 2006, the then-health director-general, Dr Mohamed Taha, wrote in AMM’s newsletter, Berita Akademi, on the establishment and purpose of the NSR.

In his write-up, he stated that “the NSR will ensure that doctors designated as specialists are appropriately trained and fully competent to practice the expected higher level of care in the chosen specialty.

“The NSR is, in fact, an exercise in self-regulation by the medical profession, having the interest and safety of the public at heart. Through the NSR, the medical profession will strive to maintain and safeguard the highest standards of specialist practice in the country.”

It is high time that we steer our focus towards capacity-building via a unified and structured competency-based training programme to increase the number of specialists in the country to meet the nation’s needs.

All stakeholders must work together harmoniously to resolve the issues related to specialist training without further discord. While we must applaud the joint efforts of the health minister and the higher education minister to address issues related to specialist training, the current impasse affecting some specialists who were denied their registration into NSR must be resolved forthwith.

This matter firmly falls solely within the ambit of MMC, and we await their decision.

We, the under-signed:

  • Academy of Medicine of Malaysia (Prof Dr Rosmawati Mohamed, Master)
  • College of Anaesthesiologists (Prof Dr Ina Ismiarti Shariffuddin, President)
  • College of Dental Specialists (Dr Ahmad Sharifuddin Mohd Asari, President)
  • College of Emergency Physicians (Dr Alzamani Mohammad Idrose, President)
  • College of Otorhinolaryngologists – Head and Neck Surgeons (Dr Zahirrudin Zakaria @ Azidin, President)
  • College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (Prof Dr Siti Zawiah Omar, President)
  • College of Ophthalmologists (Prof Dr Hajah Shatriah Ismail, President)
  • College of Paediatrics (Prof Dr Thong Meow Keong, President)
  • College of Pathologists (Emeritus Prof Dr Cheong Soon Keng, President)
  • College of Physicians (Prof Dr Paras Doshi, President)
  • College of Public Health Medicine (Dr Anita Suleiman, President)
  • College of Radiology (Prof Dr Norlisah Mohd Ramli, President)
  • College of Surgeons (Dr Siow Sze Li, President)

The Academy of Medicine of Malaysia (AMM), comprising 12 colleges and 24 chapters, is a registered, non-profit professional organisation representing medical specialists in various specialities in the country.

The AMM actively collaborates with the Ministry of Health and the Malaysian Medical Council in matters pertaining to medical specialist recognition, training and continuous professional development.

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

You may also like