Friday, July 07, 2006

Teaching hospitals plan put on hold

Star: KOTA KINABALU: The Government has put on hold its plan to set up teaching hospitals at six universities offering medical courses due to financial constraints, said Higher Education Minister Datuk Mustapa Mohamed.
He stressed that the plan was not shelved but would be considered when there was available funds in the future.
He said of the nine universities offering medical courses, six, including University Malaysia Sabah (UMS), were keen to set up teaching hospital colleges. The remaining three already have teaching hospitals.
“In the meantime, the universities will work with government hospitals. UMS already has a tie-up with Queen Elizabeth Hospital,” he told reporters during a visit to UMS where he opened the Students Services Centre.
He said his ministry and the Health Ministry were working together on the matter, including working out proper medical programmes for the students to learn at the hospital.
On a question raised in Parliament two days ago over the 70% unemployment rate among Malaysian university graduates, he said some of the “unemployed” graduates were already working but looking for better-paying jobs.
Mustapa said that there were three different figures on unemployment – from the Statistics Department, M-10 as well as the Human Resources Department.
“These figures need to be analysed,” he added.
However, the minister said, the Government was serious about the unemployment problem among graduates and a committee headed by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak was looking into the matter.
Mustapa earlier said that UMS would receive RM644mil for the setting-up of its agriculture faculty in Sandakan, among other development and operational costs.

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