Looking at the news everyday feels like, probably I will have to continue this title till Part 100 ! Just when I thought I had enough, here comes another news report from a Sarawak MP who came up with a brilliant idea ! No country will come up with these kind of ideas except in Bolehland. Why don’t MMC just close shop and create a free for all market! Then, definitely we will be seeing MBBS holders working as taxi drivers and cashiers.
It is a well known fact that there are many students from Sabah and Sarawak who goes to universities in China which is NOT recognised in Malaysia. This was one of the reason why our great Health Minister came up with MQE exams in 16 medical schools and ordered MMC to recognise atleast 10 medical schools in China (in progress). It is always politics in Malaysia. Politics should NEVER get involved in education system of any country. It will only create a mass. Education should always be left to the academics. I wonder how he came up with a figure of Rm 25 – 30 000 to sit for the MQE exams! And, what does he mean by excellence result? Everyone knows how some foreign universities give away their degrees. Money talks!
BTW, the country is not dependant on foreign doctors anymore. The remaining foreign doctors will be slowly phased out and many of the young doctors will be sent to Sabah and Sarawak as the posts in Peninsular Malaysia will be full by early next year.
Call to allow medical grads to skip exam
BARISAN Nasional (BN) lawmakers yesterday proposed that medical graduates from reputed foreign universities be exempted from sitting the Medical Qualifying Examination (MQE).
Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing (BN-Bintulu) said this would help overcome the shortage of doctors at government hospitals.
“I’ve received many complaints from medical graduates, especially from China, that they have to undergo the exam that costs between RM25,000 and RM30,000 prior to housemanship at government hospitals.
“There should be a mechanism where they could be exempted, especially those with excellent results,” he said while debating on the 2013 Budget.
Tiong said the move could also help reduce the country’s dependency on foreign doctors.
The proposal was seconded by Datuk Mohamed Aziz (BN-Sri Gading), Datuk Ismail Kasim (BN-Arau) and Datuk Alexandar Nanta Linggi (BN-Kapit).
Dr Mohd Hatta Ramlu (Pas-Kuala Krai) said it was about time that the government looked into this, as currently there were many locals studying medicine overseas.
Later, Deputy Health Minister Datuk Seri Rosnah Abdul Rashid Shirlin told the house that the waiting period at emergency units of government hospitals was at a satisfactory level compared with other countries.
She said the waiting time for non-critical cases was just 90 minutes, compared with 120 minutes in Australia.
“Non-critical cases are classified under the green zone. More serious cases fall under the yellow zone with 15 minutes waiting period while the red zone, or critical cases, are accorded immediate attention.”
She added the ministry was taking steps to improve the waiting period, such as enhancing infrastructure at consultation rooms and extending the operating hours of clinics and hospitals.
How many doctors do we need?
I READ with utter amazement (and some degree of amusement) “No oversupply of doctors” (News Without Borders, Oct 8). I beg to differ.
First, the article quoted “47 public and private universities in Malaysia producing 2,000 medical graduates annually”. I do not think that the figure is correct. In the news published in the NST, April 30, the health minister said that there are 3,500 “produced” annually. It is impossible for this figure to be reduced drastically to 2,000 doctors.
The MMC (Malaysian Medical Council) website showed there were 3,150 provisional registrations in 2009 and 3,257 registrations in 2010. Provisional registrations are given to housemen just starting work. Of course, the MMC figure includes graduates from outside Malaysia who would want to do their housemanship in this country. This comes to my second point.
Forty-seven public and private universities in Malaysia is a lot of medical institutions. We tend to overlook the number of Malaysian (and non-Malaysian) graduates from outside Malaysia who intend to practice in Malaysia. The MMC website shows that there are 358 medical institutions outside of Malaysia that are recognised in Malaysia.
Imagine if there are only 10 medical graduates from each of these universities wanting to practice in this country, we will have an additional 3,580 graduates. Of course, not all of them have Malaysian medical students.
The figure “10” quoted above is arbitrary, just for us to visualise the impact of the number of potential medical graduates. Bear in mind that those are just recognised medical institutions. We also have graduates from unrecognised universities who can still practice in Malaysia provided they pass their Medical Qualification examination.
The World Health Organisation recommends that we need to have a doctor to population ratio of 1:600. Now it is 1:800 and by 2020, we will pass the recommendation and achieve 1:400. In a mere eight years our doctor to population ratio will drop from 1:800 to 1:400. And if the number of doctors graduating remains constant (which will not be the case), in another eight years, there would be 1:200.
The problem arises when medical graduates are guaranteed a job in this country. It won’t matter if a medical graduate needs to sit for his or her final exams once or had failed their exams three times, they will still be guaranteed a job. To make things worse, there is no written exit policy for doctors unless the doctor starts killing patients.
With 3,500 doctors going into the service yearly, how many leave the service? If there aren’t any, or only a handful, then, it comes back to my first argument. There will be an oversupply of doctors.