We call on the Malaysian Government to institute strict scrutiny on the quality of the nationís medical students within and outside this country, so that Malaysian doctors will have international recognition

Press Statement
by Tan Seng Giaw

(Petaling Jaya, Thursday):  Doctors must be compassionate. A student with good examination results may not necessarily be suitable to be a doctor. A suitable student must also have reasonable ability to pass examinations to enable him or her to go through the long years of training. Studying medicine is expensive.

 Malaysia has public and private medical colleges. The public colleges still have some form of racial quota. The private ones have to consider the number of students. If the entrance qualifications are high, the number is small. The college loses money. The cost for each student can be prohibitive.

 Some parents insist that their children study medicine. If they cannot get into local public or private medical schools or the cost is too high for them, then they look overseas such as India and Russia. The Government recognizes some schools in India and five in Russia and Ukraine. Still, certain students enter unrecognized schools. When they graduate, they face difficulties.

 Now, MMA, Education Ministry and Health Ministry are showing concern about the quality of medical students in overseas institutes. MMA urges foreign embassies to ensure that medical students fulfill all prerequisites before granting them visas.

 We donít encourage students to enter unrecognized universities. Meanwhile, we believe that the Government does not have strict supervision on the intake and quality of medical students. When the British Medical Council (BMC) withdrew recognition of the medical degree of the University of Malaya (MU), the Education Ministry behaved as if nothing had happened. It concentrates on racial quota for medical students. It is relatively less interested in quality and suitability of students pursuing medical studies.


* Dr Tan Seng Giaw, DAP National Vice-Chairman and MP for Kepong