Friday, March 11, 2016

Ministry must deal with deluge of trainee doctors, says MMA

The Higher Education Ministry does not seem to appreciate the problems arising from the glut of medical graduates in the country, the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) said. The Star reported MMA president Dr Ashok Zachariah Philip as saying that, the higher education ministry did not see any problem with producing so many graduates, which now has caused delays in housemanship placements . Only the Health Ministry understood how hard it was to train medical graduates, he said. "Our impression is that the Higher Education Ministry does not seem to appreciate the problems of the practitioners," Dr Ashok was reported saying. He said he backed the creation of a task force to address the problem, as suggested by Universiti Malaya medical faculty dean professor Dr Adeeba Kamarulzaman, who had called for an independent task force to address the glut of trainee doctors and related problems. It was reported last month that the Ministry of Health may extend the freeze on new medical courses and institutions of higher education offering such courses by another five years in a bid to stem the glut of trainee doctors in the country. Director-general of Health Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said this was necessary to curb the large influx of future doctors coming out from 32 local institutions, and more than 360 medical programmes in 36 countries including Myanmar, Czech Republic, Sri Lanka, Iraq, Russia and Ukraine. This would effectively be a continuation of the five year moratorium imposed by the government in 2011 on new medical programmes in the county and instead encourage existing medical schools to focus on more quality. Some 20% of housemen take more than the stipulated two-year period to finish their training, causing a backlog in the number of available posts. As a result, hundreds of medical graduates are forced to wait up to six months or a year to get their houseman placings. – March 12, 2016.]]>

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