KUALA LUMPUR — The Health Ministry is considering a proposal for all graduates from foreign medical schools to sit for a licensing examination before being granted registration in the country.
Health Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the ministry was looking into measures suggested by the Malaysian Medical Council in order to enhance the standard of medical practice in the country.
“The proposal (sitting for a licensing examination) is the practice of many countries now, among them the General Medical Council of the United Kingdom has the Professional and Language Assessment Board examination.
“In the United States (US), they have the US Medical Licensing Examination. These measures will ensure that all medical practitioners who wish to practice in Malaysia meet a certain standard,” he said in a statement here today.
Dr Noor Hisham was commenting on statements made by Malaysian Physicians for Social Responsibility (MPSR) president Datuk Abdul Hamid Abdul Kadir and Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) president Dr Ashok Philip recently.
Abdul Hamid said the Government must exert political will to remove foreign medical schools that did not meet the standards from its list of recognised schools to address the large number of graduates, besides extending the moratorium on local schools.
Dr Ashok agreed with the ministry’s decision to extend the moratorium on the medical sector as there was an increase in specialist courses.
Dr Noor Hisham said the Malaysian Medical Council was aware of the issues raised by MPSR and MMA including Malaysian graduates from foreign universities without minimal entry qualifications, poor performance of young doctors graduating from overseas universities and the long wait for graduates to commence their housemanship training.
He said the Malaysian Medical Council (MMC) had given its assurance to all parties that they are aware of the issues and will be taking several measures.
Among the steps are to remove a number of universities from the list (universities listed under the second schedule of the Medical Act 1971), after attempts to contact them by MMC failed.
Some of the universities were listed in the 1970s and many have changed status and MMC had no information on them, he said.
Therefore, graduates from universities which are not listed in the second schedule would have to sit for a qualifying examination conducted by MMC with the assistance of the local medical schools as provided under the Medical Act, he said.
Dr Noor Hisham said MMC will also continue to appraise the standards of medical education and recommend to the Ministry of Higher Education and the Malaysian Qualification Agency (MQA), measures to improve the quality of medical education.