Doctors in limbo want to be absorbed
KUALA LUMPUR: A group of doctors who graduated from unaccredited universities and cannot get jobs in the Government sector is hoping that the Health Ministry will put an end to their woes.
In a recent meeting held with Minister Datuk Dr Chua Soi Lek, the doctors were assured that the matter will be looked into.
They had sat for the final papers at the Hospital Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (HUKM), but had found that they could not work at Government medical centres as their universities were unaccredited.
Those who graduate from unaccredited universities are required to sit for a qualifying examination at local universities along with local medical students. To work for the Government, they have to pass the papers.
While it is an additional entry examination for them, the same papers are used for local final-year medical students.
Dr Chua declined to comment when contacted.
A spokesman for the group said they were happy to receive a positive response from the Minister.
The spokesman said besides the problem of securing jobs, the doctors were unhappy with the outcome of the examination results.
“The final exams are held biannually in March and October. In the October 2003 examination, only eight of the 48 students from the unaccredited universities passed the examination they sat for at the HUKM. In the exam in October this year, out of the 16 students who sat for the paper, only two had passed. The rest of them were borderline cases who failed,” said the spokesman, who asked to remain anonymous.
Also present during the meeting was deputy director-general of health Datuk Dr Ismail Merican.
The spokesman said Dr Chua had assured them that he will review the matter and promised to bring it up during the Cabinet meeting.
The spokesman hopes that the Government will recognise these doctors and absorb them into Government medical centres as was done with doctors who had graduated from the Kursk State Medical University in Russia.
“Some of the doctors from this university had also failed the qualifying exam, like many of us. They were, however, accepted by the Ministry.”
In February 2002, The Malay Mail had reported that some 200 Malaysians with medical degrees from unaccredited universities would be allowed to practise, without having to sit a qualifying examination to overcome the shortage of 3,500 doctors in the country.
The then Health Minister Datuk Chua Jui Meng had announced that those with degrees which were not originally recognised could apply for a place in government medical institutions.
The spokesman pointed out that the Government has employed foreign doctors with qualifications similar to theirs.
“Some of these foreign doctors face language barriers. Instead of employing them, we suggest that the Government recognise and absorb us in,” he said.