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Malaysia to amend Medical Act to bridge gap

The Ministry of Health (MOH) stands by its decision to amend the Medical Act 1971 (Act 50) to bridge the gap between the parallel pathway programme (PPP) and the local medical degree programme, despite objections from some parties.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr. Dzulkefly Ahmad said after conducting a comprehensive engagement session with the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE), it was found necessary to make amendments to the act.

He said the ministry has also received legal views from the Attorney General’s Chambers.

“Anyone can express their opinion, but both MOH and MOHE are aligned on this matter, in line with the comprehensive joint study and engagement. Therefore, we will soon submit this proposed amendment memorandum to the Cabinet.

“This is the process we are pursuing to resolve the issue, to clarify the status of both programmes and to address the shortage of medical professionals serving in government healthcare facilities across the country,“ he told a press conference after a working visit to Kuala Kubu Baharu (KKB) Hospital here today.

In early April, Dr Dzulkefly announced that the MOH would propose amendments to Act 50 to ensure prompt registration and recognition of medical professionals trained under the PPP, no later than the Second Meeting of the Third Session of the 15th Parliament in June this year.

However, the Group of Professors of Health and Medicine, led by its chairman, Prof Dr. Noor Hassim Ismail, disagreed, stating that the gap between the PPP and the local medical degree programme could be resolved without amending Act 50.

Commenting on his visit to KKB Hospital today, Dr Dzulkefly said improvements in healthcare services, such as the placement of general medical practitioners since January last year, have successfully reduced congestion at Selayang Hospital.

“Previously, there were no specialists here, so KKB residents had to go to Selayang Hospital for treatment. Now, with the presence of medical specialists, I see that we have gained their confidence to seek treatment here,“ he said.

“Not only that, to enhance healthcare services at KKB, we plan to establish an emergency department (currently only an emergency unit) staffed with emergency medicine specialists by early May,“ he said.

Dr Dzulkefly said other aspects needing improvement in government healthcare facilities in KKB include enhancing services for the surrounding population which includes addressing congestion in the pharmacy unit and providing additional parking spaces. The Sun

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