Annie Freeda Cruez


In a move that may see adverse reactions from various quarters, the Malaysian Medical Council may require Malaysian medical graduates from recognised foreign medical colleges to sit a local qualifying examination.
Only those who pass the examination will be allowed to practise.

The MMC is thinking of requesting the Health Ministry and the medical faculties of local universities to set the examination if the proposal receives the green light from the Government.

MMC president Datuk Dr Ismail Merican said the examination could resolve the question of whether standards at the 344 medical colleges recognised by the MMC were adequate.

"If this is done, the question of de-registering medical colleges will not arise," he told the New Straits Times.

He is also making efforts to meet the 16 heads of mission here of countries where the 344 institutions are located as a first step towards reviewing their status.

The countries are Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Canada, Egypt, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Japan, Jordan, Malta, Malaysia Myanmar, and New Zealand.

"We need to carry out the review urgently as it has not been done for many years. We don't know if some of these institutions still exist," he said.

The review will involve an audit of Malaysians studying at these institutions, the curriculum offered, the passing rate and whether there have been changes to entry requirements over the years.

The feedback from the High Commissioners and ambassadors would be a short-term measure to learn about the colleges, said Dr Ismail, who is also the Director-General of Health.

Medical degrees offered by local public and private universities would also be reviewed.

"One private medical school is already under scrutiny based on alleged contravention of standards."

He said he would not hesitate to take action against any institution which did not meet standards and requirements set by the MMC.

"We want quality doctors. Surely that must be the determining factor rather than quantity."