MMA calls for more training hospitals, houseman slots

The health minister has announced a freeze on intake of medical students because of a glut. (Bernama pic)

GEORGE TOWN: The Malaysian Medical Association wants the federal government to increase the number of training hospitals and the number of housemanship positions as part of government efforts to tackle a glut of medical graduates and new nurses yet to be placed in hospitals.

Dr Ravindran R Naidu

MMA president Dr Ravindran R Naidu said more housemanship posts would allow new doctors to be posted quicker.

“Why more hospitals? This is to make sure there are fewer housemen per hospital so each can manage more patients. That is how they learn,” he told FMT.

Another important measure the ministry should consider was to step up accreditation inspections of medical colleges.

“As things get tougher for them with the declining enrolment, we must ensure standards are maintained,” he said.

Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad said on Friday that the ministry plans to take several measures to tackle the glut, including a freeze on new medical programmes at degree level.

There would also be no increase in the intake of medical students at public universities.

Ravindran agreed with the measures announced by Dzulkefly but said they were not sufficient.

He voiced his support for pre-admission aptitude tests for medical schools and also called for a common qualifying examination for all medical graduates.

“Each private medical school should have a separate training hospital. They shouldn’t be sharing with other schools,” he said.

Ravindran said that from a short meeting that MMA officials held with Dzulkefly, he appeared to be seriously looking into several matters.

“But our concern is whether the advice given by the top officials of the ministry is relevant and accurate. We request the minister to engage the MMA and other stakeholders who may be able to help a great deal,” he added.

Health ministry taking action to end glut of doctors, nurses

‘Give priority to absorbing local medical grads for housemanship’

Junior doctors trapped in catch-22 predicament