[Updated] Health Ministry committed to recognition of Parallel Pathway Programme graduates

KUALA LUMPUR: Parallel Pathway Programme graduates will be recognised, the Health Ministry said.

In a statement, the ministry will propose to the Cabinet to expedite the proposed amendment to the Medical Act 1971 (Act 50).

This, the ministry said, is to ensure that medical specialists who have completed their training under the parallel pathway programme (PPP) will be registered and recognised.

"Given the urgent need for medical specialists in government hospitals, we will propose amendments to the Medical Act to the Cabinet by the Second Meeting of the Third Session of the Fifteenth Parliament in June 2024.

"In the meantime, specialist training through domestic postgraduate programs will continue to be strengthened to enhance the competitiveness of local capacity-building programs," the statement read.

The ministry also urged all parties to cooperate fully for the benefit of all stakeholders, especially participants of the Parallel Pathway Programme.

"We guarantee that the efficiency and effectiveness of public healthcare delivery to the community will continue to be enhanced under the unity government."

Previously, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad said the ministry would present to the cabinet a way to overcome the problem of graduates from a programme who need to be listed in the National Specialist Register (NSR).

He told the Dewan Negara he was aware of the Malaysian Medical Council's (MMC) refusal to recognise qualifications from certain colleges, which has caused controversy.

A member of parliament had previously urged the MMC and ministry to address the confusion over the recognition and registration of cardiothoracic surgeons who graduated from the parallel pathway programme.

Dr Kelvin Yii said the programme, which started in 2016, had produced 32 surgeons, four of whom have completed training.

Applications by the four to become full surgeons, however, were rejected by the MMC.

Following that, six pathology graduates from Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) were reported pursuing a judicial review against the Malaysian Medical Council (MMC) in their bid to be registered as specialists.

In the affidavit seen by the media, the plaintiffs argued that the MMC's refusal to include them in the NSR was "unreasonable and irrational" and constituted misconduct by the medical regulator.

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