This proposal culminates from the issue of inconsistency of the quality of recent graduates recruited both locally as well as those from foreign universities who has demonstrated substandard performance at our local hospitals.
Medical graduates who studied overseas may have to sit for a unified medical examination and, whether their university is recognised or not, a pass in the examination would allow them to practise in Malaysia.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek said this would ensure these graduates had the required standard and quality to practise medicine in the country.
“...we should not focus on quantity. The standard is more important,” he said, adding that there had lately been a drop in the quality of doctors.This blog is written extensively with regards to this issue, particularly on the fact that Malaysia recognises medical degree programmes from many third world universities with arguably dubious standards and standing.
These universities include 6 from Burma, 6 from Bangladesh, 11 from Indonesia, 14 from Pakistan, 4 from Iraq and even 1 from Uganda.
The simple question then to ask, is, whether the proposal by Dr Chua Soi Lek makes practical sense for all its good intent, and whether, we are trying to find a solution without addressing the crux of the issue.
As questioned in a letter to the Star from Savariath Beeve Meeralebei of Taiping, Perak, “What is the point of unified exams?”
I find the statement by the Health Minister about the unified medical exams for all overseas medical students very perplexing. It is confusing why the ministry continues recognising medical degrees from the Czech Republic and Taiwan, while several medical degrees in Poland are currently pending approval.And Savariath added a very relevant point, that is “the ministry should have known better than to use SPM as an entry requirement for first year of medicine in Egyptian universities.”
How will the introduction of this exam affect the fate of 490 SPM school-leavers currently pursuing medicine in Egypt? Another point to consider is will the Higher Education Ministry guideline for attaining the “No Objection Certificate” be a prerequisite for those leaving the country to be doctors?Savariath's point is very simple. If we are concerned about the quality of particular university which we have pre-approved for our Malaysian students to pursue their studies in Medicine, why should they be subjected to further examinations and tests on the same subjects? What will these students do, should they “fail” the proposed “unified examinations”, after having spent between 5-6 years to acquire their degrees at a significant cost to their parents?
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