Docs: Local med students must sit for licensing exam, too
By LOH FOON FONG
The Star, Tuesday March 15, 2011
PETALING JAYA: Senior doctors have called for local medical graduates to also sit for the proposed medical licensing examination which will be imposed on all foreign medical graduates.
Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) president Dr David Quek said many supervising clinicians have expressed concern about the commitment and quality of some recent graduates from local medical schools.
“There are concerns that some private schools are influenced by profit and adequate teaching facilities and teachers were not the most important criteria,” he said.
Foundation courses were also shortened to three to seven months to attract weaker students, said Dr Quek, adding that a moratorium should be imposed not only on the number of medical schools but also the student intake.
Last Thursday, Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai told the Dewan Rakyat that the Medical Act 1971 would be amended to allow students to pursue medical studies at any institution of their choice overseas but they would have to sit for the licensing examination when they return home.
Currently, under the Act, only students in unrecognised foreign medical schools are subject to the Malaysian Medical Council’s (MMC) qualifying examination.
A senior doctor, who declined to be named, said local universities should not be exempted from the examination.
“The quality of medical services is in danger of deteriorating, and we need a drastic solution,” the doctor said.
Meanwhile, MMC member Datuk Dr Abdul Hamid Abdul Kadir said it was not necessary for local students to sit for the licensing examination as they were evaluated periodically.
“However, students studying locally with tie-ups to foreign schools should be subject to the exam,” he said.