Private Hospitals Back Parallel Pathway, Proposed Medical Act Amendments

APHM endorses the parallel pathway, saying most cardiac surgeons in private hospitals were trained in the parallel pathway and TalentCorp is bringing in surgeons from abroad to Malaysian private hospitals. NSR registration is crucial for private practice.

KUALA LUMPUR, June 4 — The Association of Private Hospitals Malaysia (APHM) has endorsed the parallel pathway and proposed amendments to the Medical Act 1971 to recognise such medical specialty training.

APHM president Dr Kuljit Singh said private hospitals are particularly interested in providing assistance to government hospitals, particularly in the field of cardiac surgery, pointing out that there are about seven private cardiac surgery facilities in the Klang Valley, five centres in Penang, and six private institutions in the southern region.

“These cardiac surgery centres are operated collectively by 10 to 15 senior cardiac surgeons, the majority of whom were trained in the parallel pathway,” Dr Kuljit said in an opening speech at the 30th APHM International Health Care Conference and Exhibition here today.

“This is a direct testimony to YB [Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad] that we support your initiative to amend the Medical Act to provide our nation with a greater number of surgeons who are trained. TalentCorp collaborates with private hospitals to recruit senior surgeons from abroad to work at our facilities.”

In additional remarks to CodeBlue, Dr Kuljit, who is also medical director of Prince Court Medical Centre, pointed out that a “huge number” of specialist doctors in private hospitals were a product of the parallel pathway programme in the last 50 years of history of private hospitals in Malaysia.

Last December, the Malaysian Medical Council (MMC) rejected applications by four pioneer graduates of the cardiothoracic surgery parallel pathway programme to register as specialists on the National Specialist Register (NSR) – on the basis of non-recognition of their FRCS Edinburgh in Cardiothoracic Surgery qualification.

NSR registration is crucial for private practice as specialists or consultants in the country. Doctors working in the Ministry of Health (MOH), on the other hand, may be separately gazetted as specialists.

APHM’s endorsement of the parallel pathway follows a separate endorsement by the National Heart Association of Malaysia (NHAM), the country’s cardiology society.

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