Focus on the real standard of our experts such as medical consultants
DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw reminds the Prime Minister of the need to ensure that Malaysian experts in all fields including medicine attain international standard. We have about 14 years to achieve the objective of a developed nation.
Dr Tan broached the subject on 27 April, 2006, when the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi wound up the debate on the Ninth Malaysia Plan (9MP) motion in Parliament.
During the debate on 9MP, the Kepong MP called on the Government to make sure that those experts returning from overseas are given recognition such as the status they would otherwise have obtained overseas such as the United Kingdom (U.K.).
On 26 April, 2006, Higher Education Minister Datuk Mustapa Mohamed said in the House that it was not possible to compete with developed nations that offered much better money than this country for experts. He did mention that certain universities such Universiti Teknologi had increased financial incentives for those returning home. He would offer positions equivalent to those these experts could get overseas.
There are people returning to Malaysia because of factors other than financial rewards. Very often, researchers opt for opportunities other than money.
On the same day, the Health Minister Datuk Dr Chua Soi Lek reassured those medical experts who came home of equivalent status in this country. However, he was unclear as to what was considered an expert. For example, he insisted that if a doctor obtained his or her postgraduate diploma such as Member of the Royal College of Physicians (MRCP), U.K., he or she would be confirmed a specialist 18 months after getting the diploma. Does he mean he or she is a specialist registrar? Is clinical specialist equivalent to specialist registrar?
Dr Tan urged the Prime Minister to be focussed on important matters such as the standard of experts. In the U.K. system, a doctor is allowed to take MRCP one and a half years after having qualified as a doctor. There are three parts to the examinations. Having obtained the MRCP, he or she applies for numbered jobs in recognized hospitals to work in a specialty such as cardiology. He or she must complete five years in these hospitals before getting a certificate. With this certificate, he or she can then apply for a consultant post. Before being appointed a consultant, he or she is called a specilist registrar.
Abdullah reiterated his intention to ensure the standard of our experts, especially when Malaysia is promoting medical tourism. He did not want to shortchange Malaysians and tourists.