This news has been long overdue. It has to be immediate, sooner rather than later. Removing foreign medical schools from the recognized list would also be needed and instituting a common qualifying examination is the way forward.
In the same vein, there needs to be more resources poured into post-graduate training to accommodate the high numbers of new graduates. Specialists is still in short supply. The surplus of graduates can also help resolve the specialists dilemma if proper planning is put into their training.
Consolidating universities must also be seriously considered. Gone are the days when they can work in silos. This will better utilize resources and at the same time ensuring that collaboration between local universities exist or are strengthened. Local collaborations must be prioritized before engaging in foreign partners, who on most occasions are large enough to “gobble” local institutions and force them into submissive roles.
Proposed tougher entry requirements for aspiring doctors
PETALING JAYA: The minimum entry requirement into medical schools may be increased to all As or a combination of As and Bs for Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia and Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia students.
Sources from the Malaysian Medical Council said the ministry and the Education Ministry were looking into making that proposal to overcome the huge number of medical students graduating each year, thus over-taxing training hospitals.
“The move to increase the minimum qualification is not too drastic because each year there are 14,000 to 14,500 SPM students scoring all As and 400 to 500 of them scoring all A+,” a source told The Star.
For now, the minimum requirements are Bs in Science and Mathematics for SPM and STPM.
According to the source, the ministry acknowledged that the large pool of medical graduates had raised concerns whether there were adequate number of instructors and training hospitals for them.
There were also complaints that some private institutions brought in expertise from other countries that could affect the quality of students, he said.
By increasing the minimum criteria, the source said better quality doctors would be recruited.
The five-year moratorium on establishing new medical schools until end of 2015 would likely continue after the deadline, the source said.
Another source said that the ministry hoped to remove the list of accredited foreign medical training institutes in the Medical Act and impose a medical licensing examination for medical graduates returning from overseas.
Currently, under the Act, only students in unrecognised foreign medical schools are subjected to the Malaysian Medical Council’s qualifying examination.