Professors’ Group Wants Stakeholder Engagements Before Medical Act Amendments Tabled

The Group of Professors of Health and Medicine demands stakeholder engagements before Medical Act amendments are tabled in Parliament, accusing Cabinet of allowing foreign education institutions to conduct activities that threaten national sovereignty.

KUALA LUMPUR, June 6 – The Group of Professors of Health and Medicine is calling for stakeholder consultations before amendments to the Medical Act are tabled in Parliament.

The group’s head Prof Dr Noor Hassim Ismail said the decision to amend the Medical Act, as presented to the Cabinet yesterday, is an indirect admission by the government that the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) “have mismanaged the implementation of parallel programmes.”

“The Cabinet wants to menghalal (legitimise) what is haram (illegitimate). They are protecting two ministries that should face legal action for abuse of power, non-compliance with the law, negligence, and failing to enforce laws provided in three statutes: the Medical Act 1971 (Act 50), the Medical Regulations under the Medical Act, and the Malaysian Qualifications Agency Act 2007.

“They are also guilty of compromising national sovereignty by allowing foreign entities to conduct activities that undermine the sovereignty and principles of Rukun Negara,” Dr Noor Hassim said in a strongly-worded statement today.

“Although there are legitimate ways proposed to save students and graduates who have been wronged by following unrecognised qualified courses, the Madani government chose a path that undermines national sovereignty by not complying with laws approved by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. They have betrayed the nation.”

Dr Noor Hassim said the group will wait to see what is proposed by both ministries, before highlighting that there must be discussions with all stakeholders before changing or amending any Act that affects higher education.

Communications Minister Fahmi Fadzil announced that yesterday’s Cabinet meeting reached a resolution to the conflict over the parallel pathway for medical specialty training, following a joint Cabinet memorandum by Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad and Higher Education Minister Zambry Abdul Kadir.

The government spokesperson said a bill will be tabled in Parliament, with another Cabinet memorandum on the amendment bill expected in the next two weeks, to be presented either by Dzulkefly, Zambry, or both, though Fahmi did not specify which.

In a separate statement yesterday, Dzulkefly said that the government plans to table amendments to the Medical Act 1971 in the upcoming Parliament meeting, pending Cabinet approval.

The health minister, however, did not specify what amendments are being proposed to the Medical Act for tabling in the upcoming Dewan Rakyat meeting, scheduled to begin in three weeks from June 24.

He also did not mention if the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) Act 2007, which is under the jurisdiction of the MOHE, would be amended as well.

Although Dzulkefly did not directly state that the parallel pathway programme is currently “irregular” in terms of the law, he said the proposed Medical Act amendments are aimed to “ensure more regularised implementation of both specialty training pathways.”

The upcoming Dewan Rakyat meeting is scheduled for four weeks from June 24. The third and final meeting for the year is scheduled from October 7.

You may also like