Parallel Pathway Wins Endorsement From Cardiology Society NHAM

The parallel pathway wins support from the National Heart Association of Malaysia, a cardiology society, with a brief statement describing the parallel pathway as an “immediate and viable alternative” to producing specialists amid long patient waitlists.

KUALA LUMPUR, June 4 — The National Heart Association of Malaysia (NHAM), the society for cardiologists in the country, has expressed support for the parallel pathway specialty training programme.

In a brief two-sentence statement, the NHAM said it supported “all initiatives” that address the immediate lack of medical and surgical specialists in Malaysia. 

“With the long waiting lists faced by patients awaiting specialist-led care, such as cardiac surgery, we believe the parallel pathway provides an immediate and viable alternative to providing such specialists in Malaysia,” NHAM president Dr Alan Fong, who is also head of the Clinical Research Centre at Sarawak General Hospital and a consultant cardiologist at the Sarawak Heart Centre, said in a statement today.

NHAM, which was founded in 1979, did not specifically endorse or explain the quality of the cardiothoracic surgery parallel pathway programme, nor did the cardiology society express its professional opinion on how medical specialty training in this field should be run. 

In a previous interview with CodeBlue, Prof Dr Raja Amin Raja Mokhtar – a senior consultant cardiothoracic surgeon at Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) and president of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons of Malaysia – defended the role of the Malaysian Medical Council (MMC) in protecting patient safety by ensuring that specialist doctors registered on the National Specialist Register (NSR) meet the necessary qualifications and standards set by the MMC.

He also pointed out that under the cardiothoracic surgery postgraduate programme, through a collaboration between UiTM and the National Heart Institute (IJN), trainees are supervised early, closely, and regularly in the country’s first such local programme.

Tomorrow’s Cabinet meeting is expected to discuss proposed legal amendments to enable the recognition of the Ministry of Health’s (MOH) parallel pathway programmes that are conducted mostly with royal colleges in the United Kingdom, after the MMC said it does not recognise the FRCS Edinburgh in Cardiothoracic Surgery qualification.

It is not yet clear if amendments to the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) Act 2007 are also needed, besides amending the Medical Act 1971, after officials from the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) briefed last Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting about a potential conflict between the MQA and MMC.

You may also like