Unrecognised doctors


by Frustrated doctor

The Star article titled ‘Hope Yet For Med Grads’ (10th April 2008) claims to give the option to unrecognised doctors of transferring credits to local establishments to pursue their goal of becoming doctors . If this article is true , this is a misleading thing the new health minister is undertaking .

Firstly , the option to transfer credits has been there since 1998 when students in Indonesia were allowed to pay 60,000rm to an agent to transfer to Malaysian recognised Indonesian government universities . Many decided not to pursue this option as they didn’t have the money ; and the studies they were doing in other universities which were claimed to be unrecognised in Malaysia were actually on par with the recognised government universities there .

This whole credit transfer came about when 3 JPA sponsored students from Padang came back after only 4 years of theory claiming that they had finished their studies and were posted to do their housemanship . Not having any clinical experience , their peers and dept heads found them lacking and refused to accept them when it was found out that they didn’t do their 2 years of clinicals to be considered doctors in Indonesia . Thus , JPA and MMC tried asking the U in Padang to take them back but the U refused saying that they had ‘mencemarkan nama baik universitas’ . Thus , JPA had to pay hefty amounts to the govt U in Bandung who decided to allow them to continue their studies there . Using this case of credit transfer , an agent worked out with various other recognised Indonesia government universities to accept students . Even local Indonesian students were irritated with this as this smacked of double standards as the same option was denied even to them .

It is a known fact that wherever JPA is able to put students , the U is given recognition in a short time . Malay students were gathered and all placed in an Islamic private medical U to finish their studies . However , due to the large number of non-bumi students there , this U was not given recognition and the Malay students were placed in the govt U in Bandung . However , since they hadn’t finished their 4 years of theory , the Bandung U gave some problems . Then they were placed a 3rd time in the govt U in Medan . This U was not strict with the rules as hefty sums were paid to the rector’s office to close a blind eye . Each transfer involved a sum of about 60K . Three transfers and the JPA would have paid nearly 200K for each chap . This is how much the govt doesn’t mind paying for bumi students from all the Petronas money they have received .

Needless to say , most of those who came back from unrecognised Universities were due to their parents being poor and not being able to afford the highly inflated capitation fees demanded for education in ‘esteemed’ recognised institutions . The moment a university becomes recognised , the fees in fact sky rocket even doubling or tripling the earlier amount . If you ask the MMC , they will claim that the recognition is not done by them but by a panel from various bodies . Basically , it is done by non-medical practitioners who are feted nicely and given under counter money to get the university recognised . The MMC is more interested in bringing back specialists who refuse to return home even after having all their studies sponsored by the government but turn a blind eye to doctors from unrecognised universities who are willing to slog it out for the government even when they paid for all their studies on their own .

Also , due to the quota system , most unrecognised doctors couldn’t get into the only 3 local institutions here then . Only now is there an abundance of medical universities . The quota for Indian doctors into UKM , UM and USM then was just about 5 or 6 per year in total . Thus , even with good grades , many had to seek options overseas . When they realised after 2 years of pre-clinical studies overseas , the huge amount which was unaffordable to their parents ; they had no choice but to enter unrecognised universities .

In a country which is lacking doctors , they thought the govt would appreciate them coming back to serve . However , the NEP govt under Mahathir made rules even stricter . During the early 80s , unrecognised doctors could come back and do 1 year of probation before starting housemanship . However , there were some ungrateful chaps who complained that they were being paid 200rm lesser from houseman for the same work . Using this , the govt made an even bigger mistake by insisting that they now had to sit for an exam with the 3 local universities – UM , UKM and USM . These universities were even stricter with these doctors going to the level of ridiculing them in front of patients and staff and using them as the failure rate to pass off their students .

Exams were stricter for unrecognised doctors with them having different role numbers , having to answer the same questions in English while their local counterparts answered in Malay , negative marking for unrecognised doctors but not for the local chaps , marks given for the course work to be accumulated into the theory papers for local chaps but none for the unrecognised doctors etc . Even in the clinical exams , they would be questioned more than local counterparts as no lecturer when examining their students would want to make it look like they hadn’t taught their students well .

Also , with the NEP policy of even giving the exam questions to Malay students in the guise of ceramah Agama a day before the exams , the fate for the unrecognised doctors was sealed . If they failed , they had no one to speak on their behalf ; but the local university senates could even pass off failed local students even after 3 attempts . Furthermore , even if they passed one part of the exam , they couldn’t just repeat the parts they didn’t get through but had to repeat the whole exam . In all 3 attempts , they may have actually cleared the various portions at different times . When questioned , the MMC said this was the university’s ruling and they couldn’t do anything about it . They insist that the doctors pay them 200rm when registering to sit for the exam but then deny any responsibility for the exam . The unrecognised doctors sit for the same exams but do not get the university’s cert at the end of the day .

Many from Indonesia questioned why they were being made to sit for a theory exam when technically their theory years were recognised due to the credit transfer which was allowed . Even with all obstacles , nearly 90% cleared the clinical exams . However, the MMC gave them only 2 reasons – firstly , that they can not help the unrecognised doctors , and secondly ; they are not to question what MMC does . Thus , most after just 1 attempt refused to be subjected to any more attempts and 30 took a court case in 2004 .

Actually , in February 2002 , the cabinet chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Badawi (when Mahathir was overseas) announced that the health minister Datuk Chua Jui Meng would will use his powers as the minister to absorb the unrecognised doctors . They were to do 1 year of supervised service followed by 2 years of housemanship and 3 years as a medical officer . However , the MMC objected to this – as usual not acting in the interest of doctors as their cash cow of ‘recognition’ would be killed off . Finally , after making the doctors wait the whole year , they used the information during the registration of the doctors for this program to overrule the minister who had publicly announced in the newspapers and even on the TV3 and NTV7 news . MMC gave the reason that since nearly 70% had not attempted the exams even once , they had to sit for a one off 6 months training at the local hospitals and attempt the exams at the 3 government universities . This was confirmed by Samy Vello in January 2003 , who insisted that the doctors go for it . When questioned about the earlier cabinet decision , he said Mahathir (being the dictator he was) had over ruled the health minister .

They waited nearly 6 weeks for the results of the October 2003 exam when the local students knew their results in 3 days! When news of the dismal results came in where only 10-20% had passed , the doctors went to meet the new health minister in early 2004 , who welcomed them with open doors as he was new in the post . He even arranged for them to meet with the MMC , and that meeting took nearly 4 hours . However , 2 weeks later , Datuk Chua Soi Lek was too busy to meet them and the MMC gave their 2 famous sentences – “We can not help you” , and ; “you are not to question what we do” . This prompted 30 doctors to take the case in August 2004 .

When news of the case came out , the MMC held another one off 6 months training in 2005 and refused to accept those who had filed the case against them . Then they used the points the 30 doctors had raised to do an eye wash exam . They insisted all those who went for this to sign a declaration of waiver from holding them responsible for any lacks. They also made the doctors sit for a theory exam and then only those who passed , to sit for a clinical exam ; stating that they didn’t have the man power for a clinical exam for the nearly 70 who signed up . Needless to say , nearly 2/3rds were failed in the theory exam and the MMC upheld its quota of only passing about 10% to 20% .

The MMC always talks about quality doctors . However , in early 2005 , they predated the recognition of a Russian U to accept nearly 150 chaps who had come out from there before recognition was granted . In this , there were chaps who had failed the exams in all 3 attempts but now are working due to this simple paper ruling . Even the MMC President and DG for Health knowing the short falls , announced last year that he wanted all doctors from overseas to sit for an exam . However , needless to say , the agents and rich parents who can afford nearly ½ a million to 1 million in fees put a stop to this .

Just before the elections , the unrecognised doctors met Samy hoping that the BN would offer them some goodies . However , when Samy put the idea of going to his U to do a credit transfer , they refused flatly to it . Now , to offer goodies after their dismal showing in the elections , the BN govt has decided to help the unrecognised chaps . AIMST is a new university with a medical faculty just in their infancy . To give a credit transfer to them is a slap in the face for unrecognised doctors who come from universities which are 40 to 100 years old . They are already doctors . To make them go back to U for 3 years is like a double slap in their faces . Who is going to pay for their families , house and car loans etc when they are supposed to go back to study . For this , the minister who claims to look out for Indian affairs would offer a MIC loan but why should they take a loan which must be paid up later . The minister is going to meet the doctors on Tuesday to most probably announce that this is the best and final option just like he did in 2003 before they were made to go for the slaughter of the first one-off 6 month training and exam .

For the doctors , nothing short of taking them in like what was promised in 2002 is a rape of their intellectual minds .

  1. #1 by pulau_sibu on Sunday, 13 April 2008 - 3:11 am

    Health issue serious in the Sarawakian main towns like Sibu
    (copied from Wong Ho Leng’s blog)

    1. voter Says:
    April 5th, 2008 at 5:39 am

    I was not able to post in response to your message about the Normah Hospital. It is time to come back to the 80’s where we wanted to have a better hospital in sibu. That was one of the major items that eventually led to the defeat of the SUPP politicians in Sibu.

    Do you think it is fair to the people of Sibu that we need to go to Normah in receiving better medical care and treatment? Do we want more poeple from Sibu to suffer. Many died because of late treatment of their cancer and heart illness, due to the cost and time, in going to Normah. We do not deserve to die because of the late treatment. Early detection always saves life when coming to cancer. You have many relatives around who would die from different forms of cancer.

    Tell us what SUPP will do for Sibu. I think it is again time to bring up the issue about the third class hospital in Sibu.

    2. Mr Nobody Says:
    April 5th, 2008 at 10:31 am

    Yes, Mr YB, voter has a valid point. Please fight for better medical facilities for Sibu. It is not enough just to have a good building when specialists n medical equipment are sadly lacking. I just want to highlight the fact that the transportation of patients from Sibu to Kuching be it by land or heli wastes a lot of time and the cost is prohibitive. :(

    3. voter Says:
    April 5th, 2008 at 1:11 pm

    The main point is many people who were not supposed to die died because of where they were born and live in.

    4. Irene Chang Says:
    April 5th, 2008 at 1:53 pm

    And better dental care in Sibu as well. One can’t even find a proper fully qualified orthodondist in Sibu. Those opting to go to the general hospital are fated to join the queue of at least 1 1/2 years.

    5. anonymous Says:
    April 5th, 2008 at 3:14 pm

    One thing about government doctors is that they get transferred that fast. 1 or 2 years and they will be gone. Unless you know them personally, each time you come for your follow up, each time you meet a different doctor. Each different doctor will order different investigations. Each different doctor will give different medicine and different advices. With all these going on, there is actually no standard of quality. I have a dream in which one day the patient will see the doctor of their choice. Like if I think that Doctor X is the best doctor, then I will see her for all the time to come. May be that is why the Ministry of Health is contemplating on privatising the medical service. Of course the genuinely poor will suffer. Those doctors who can make it on their own are found in the private hospitals.

    People like Martin Luther King and many others, those physically they have left us, yet they have never left us. Their spirit continues in us. The fight for justice. We are Martin Luther King in our own ways. Those who have left us, left us with precious lessons. These lessons are unique, known only to us. Good people got murdered. For that, the change will be greater. Greater than what corrupted money can buy.

    6. John Choong Says:
    April 5th, 2008 at 4:39 pm

    Attitude is the main factor for government doctors. It is not easy to re-adjust their mind set.

    7. Wong Ho Leng Says:
    April 5th, 2008 at 6:56 pm

    Be assured that all your suggestions have been read and carefully noted.

    8. WW Says:
    April 6th, 2008 at 2:40 am

    Improving health care in Sibu or as a whole Malaysia to suit all socio-economic class is a mounting challenge. First of all, health care is expensive and the fact that gov hospitals are free at the point of care bears a big brunt to the our economy. Emerging drugs and newer management of diseases are expensive with a lot of the medication still under patent. As such, the ministry had to come out with standard operating cost (??minus corruption??) which also at the same time provide an acceptable level of care to those who cannot afford the private health care.
    I believe that most of the internet users are of at least middle class thus let us not forget there are people who are least fortunate than us perhaps survive based on basic neccesities who received less formal education. In my opinion, the ministry had actually done very well in promoting health of which will lead to a healthier life style and thus prevention of diseases among the population. Free vaccination scheme, community midwife and house visits my community nurse and free dental care for school children are actually at par with other more developed countries and this could be proven with low infant mortaily and maternal mortality. It is actually a very clever step by the gov to promote prevention than disease management as the latter is far more expensive.
    A lot of our discontent are actually more focused on management of diseases such as cancer, heart disease and diabeties in gov hosp like what ‘voter’ had voiced out. It all comes back to my point above that the hosp had to provide a level of care which is acceptable with their budget. More and more trials are out with supplementation of newer and more expensive medication of which the budget is impossible to adhere to if we are to keep up to the recommendation. This is especially true to diabetes, and heart related condition like heart attack and heart failure. I do believe at the same time we should educate ourselves with more information (reliable website like patient.co.uk ) and take lead in making ourselves healthier as the medication won’t cure these diseases, it would only delay the onset of complications from the diseases.
    In terms of cancer diseases I do agree gov need to put more emphasis and introducing target times (6-8 weeks?) from diagnosis to treatment (chemo, radio or surgery) to prevent delays as they had did the same with A&E ??3 hours i believe the new Health Minister had said?? With such targets we need make sure we can deliver and thus enough manpower( (training of more physicians and surgeons and encouraging those abroad to come back?) and diagnostic equipment to be added if not it would be another lipservice. And money come into play again. Unless we are ready to pay higher taxes and gov allocates more spending on healthcare in that agreement (doesn’t really work as NHS in UK is in debt of hundreds of millions of pound and there are speculations of it going kaput) or everyone pay into a certain health scheme to upgrade the health as a whole (But then again no one would like to pay more for others so it won’t work again??) Contracting out such service to private healthcare would be another option but then again private healthcare would be overwhelmed with amount of work and that again is a temporary solution.
    There are no easy solutions and I agree gov hospitals need to improve at a faster rate than what it is doing now. Perhaps YB could gather better recommendations from willing and serving doctors of better ideas and solution.
    In response to Irene Chang, I believe gov oral health service had been excellent and I had experienced them myself. As because your concerns are more cosmetic unless your condition is so severe ie can’t close your mouth or teeth juttering out of which i think the dentists will get you sorted pretty quickly that’s why it’s 1.5 years wait and i think it’s justified.
    In response to anonymous, it is virtually impossible to see the same doctor again in any hospital in these world unless you are seeing the specialists in every occasion that you attended as every doctor in training is under rotational basis other than the specialists themselves. I believe every doctor who seen you are at least at par as the one who had previously seen you.

    9. Mr Nobody Says:
    April 6th, 2008 at 10:24 am

    In response to WW, i have only one thing to say. Just wait until the doctor says to u : “I am sorry there is something that can be done but you need to go to Kuching but the specialist is a very busy man. We will take a scan and send by email to Kuching. Then there is the long wait. In the meantime the patient will get worse and worse and will not survive. You have no choice but to send the patient to Normah if you want the patient to have a chance to survive. I will help arrange for transportation and care in Normah but you have to think carefully.( I presume he means the high costs involved.) Do not delay in making a decision. Or we can give you the telephone number and you make your own arrangements.

    WW, I understand your point of view. Truly I do understand. But I just want to humbly show you the other side of the coin… the human side of the coin where lives of loved ones are involved not just plain and cruel statistics.

    Then if WW says,” It is ok I don’t mind my so and so is sacrificed because the govt has already done its bit. After all the govt is not responsible for every body beyond a certain basic level of care. At that juncture , I will take your comment seriously.

    WW, it pains me to write this comment. You can trust me 100% on that! But my comment is valid and based on personal experience and the dialogue is REAL but I don’t want to quote the name of the doctor here. I know the constraints he is working under.

    Is an acceptable level of care equivalent to letting a patient die just because the hospital and the system lacks facilities?

    How many middle-class families can afford treatment at Normah Hospital? How about those who can’t afford? Can anybody with a poker face say I am sorry you are destined to die by the system?

    10. voter Says:
    April 6th, 2008 at 4:22 pm

    Has any one done a cost comparison between Normah and another hospital in KL, (which I think would be more expensive). I think Thailand has grown into a city with many good hospitals (not just well known for sex change operation), and if the cost there can be less as well. May be this is something the YBs can look into in helping people. You don’t wnat to have more DAP supporters dying away

    11. passerby Says:
    April 6th, 2008 at 4:48 pm

    Infrastructurally, Sibu Hospital is not lacking. Equipment wise, there are the basics available. Staff wise, they are available. Patients fees is acceptable.

    Not all the government doctors are on par with each other. If one feels that you don’t need this medication and then the next time you come back, the other one thinks that you need this medication, it is going to confuse you about what condition you are in and don’t forget it is time wasting. If all the doctors are on par, they should prescribe the same medicine. Not less. Not more. Standard operating procedures, remember ? But we are not machines. Two person having high blood pressure. One is so high. One is moderately high. Imagine if two seen by two different doctors are put on the same medication with the same dose and the same frequency ? That is already not on par. Or putting one patient on an old medication and another one on new medication. The patients are not guinea pigs and it is wrong to subject them to such experiments which you only know theoretically. Or what about if one doctor tells you that he sees something in your x ray filem and the other tells you that there is nothing there, that is already not on par. I think the patients should be taught on getting second or third opinions without disrespecting the doctors. Until today, the patients do not know their rights. Sometimes they just allow the medical staff to do anything and they don’t even want to ask what are they doing or what is going on. In a way, the patients are so nice and cooperative but you would prefer a patient to know something about his own condition. If everyday the nurse comes and poke their veins for blood, they don’t even question. And yet it is so painful. And being deprived of blood. Sometimes the veins are so uncooperative and the nurse have to poke and poke so many times and yet the patient never fight for his rights or questions.

    The MOH should not come to a standstill just because it is credited with being good. It should improve itself. Like you mention about diabetes, heart problems, cancer and others. Instead of just dishing out health education on the care of antenatal mothers, postnatal mothers, newborn babies, family planning, immunization and all the usual topics that have been going on for donkey years, why can’t the community nurses, the public health nurses, the staff nurses and all in the public health service side educate the public on the prevention of such diseases in greater details and not just superficially thinking that the kampung folks cannot understand. We are short of 12 years to 2020. Can you afford to have closed minds by then ? In fact, calling themselves primary care givers should mean preventing diseases from occuring. Prevention means you don’t have that problem and we make sure you don’t have that problem. The public service side should be awakened to integrate more of the medical, surgical, psychiatric and all the other fields into their programme. For example if a person is discharged and has to go back to the longhouse, the primary care givers should follow up the case and go to that longhouse to do follow up management on him especially if he cannot come to the clinic or hospital. It will be something like a mobile clinic. Not arriving at the longhouse and telling that person to go to the clinic himself. If you talk about being on par, this means that the knowledge is at the finger tips and no matter where all the doctors go, they will give the same management as in a hospital.

    There is no time management in many government departments including the MOH. Compare the difference. I want a blood test. I walk into the private lab and I got my result that day. I go to a government clinic. I don’t get it done that day. I have to come for an appointment. Then I don’t get the result that day. I have to wait. Yet, the number of staff in the private lab is not that many. In the government, there are too many. I wait for you to do. You wait for me to do. In the end, nobody wants to do anything. And I have to come so early before 7 in the morning and get the number. Then my blood is only taken at 8:30 in the morning. Tell me, that 1 and a half hours, what could you have done ?

    As for thinking that the patients would log into the website, just today, in the programme what sayeth thou, one listerner rang up and said he did not know what is a blog until he watched this show. So how can we expect anyone to gain any additional knowledge from the internet ? We have to educate the public and especially those older ones on how to use the internet.

    Oh yes. We have the teleconferencing. Then again, how fast and how efficient ? There are so many patients out there. How fast does it take the doctor to reply ? He is also preoccupied with his work; doing rounds, writing and more writing, doing surgeries, attending emergency calls etc. etc. What is the ratio of a doctor to patients in Malaysia or in Sibu ? If it is 1 : 2000, then the doctor will work half dead. The teleconferencing will only be for show.

    Does free service and low payments of fees mean that the service cannot be excellent, cannot be fast, cannot be efficient, cannot be more humane ? What does a patient really need ? He wants to be cured. He wants to be cured fast. He wants to be cured 100 %. He wants to get on in life like he always does.

    12. WW Says:
    April 6th, 2008 at 7:53 pm

    Doctor : There is nothing we can offer your grandfather here. The only other thing is chemotherapy after seeing the specialists in Kuching.
    WW : …. Okay….
    Doctor : I will write a letter for you to be bring to Kuching to be admitted.
    WW : …. Okay….
    Me and my grandpa left Sibu Hospital.
    That is how personal my experience had been with the our health care system. My grandpa passed away nearly 2 years ago 4 months after that consultation without going to Kuching for the chemotherapy. I understood what the doctor had meant actually that my grandpa suffered from prostrate cancer which had spread to his bones. There would be no cure. Chemotherapy would only buy him ?2 or 3 months extra with at least 1 month of suffering from the complications from chemo. I sat down with him and my family members and explained to him the side effects of the treatment of the chemo and the benefits. We decided against it with him accepting calmly of what he was left with.
    From this experience, I understood two important points.
    1. That the doctor had actually meant there is no hope but he had not said it directly.
    2. It is up to the patient and family to accept the stage of the disease.

    With our culture and our mindset point no.2 is difficult to swallow and we would like to try our best and not hope for the worst and thus all the 2nd and 3rd opinion with the time and money wasted when other steps could be done to make him more comfortable and not waste the rest of the time left. Of course 2nd or 3rd opinion is entirely up to you and take my word the doctor will not be annoyed if you seek 2nd or 3rd opinion as he had based his judgement on objective investigations results.

    On passerby’s example of x-rays, unless it’s dead obvious there is something there, specialist do work in a team and they rely on their radiologist colleague who will give them the most professional opinion on the radiograph and of which then the specialty doctor would act on it. Every doctor is entitled to their professional opinion of when assessing the x-ray.

    I believe we need to strive for a better communication between the doctor and the patient and his/her faimly. I do not blame the doctors nor the family in these situation as they are all awkward but doctors should be more ready in telling the family of the real diagnosis and not beating around the bush. (applies to private practitioners as well)

    I could not agree with passerby with his comments that doctors are not on par. I do agree there are some who are better than others but I do believe every doctor should has the basic level of standard. With his example of high blood pressure, there are 4 main groups of medication for treating the disease and in each of the group there are at least 4 different medication and of course there are medication of choice and that would be down to doctor to decide what is best for the patient. I do not think everyone has the same preference of medication to prescribe. It is still down to try and error in teasing out which medication work best for the individual.

    It is very true that MOH need to improve faster in a lot of areas especially in prevention(something we need to push forward) and life style modication of those who had been diagnosed with chronic disease but like the comment i post earlier we need to do something for ourselves and not to be spoon fed. With MOH machinery they could only target certain pool in the population but we must be self sufficent in these situations.

    Forget about salary, attitude of doctors. I believe in every doctors’ heart, he or she wants his/her patient will want to do their best to help their patients to get well and get back on their daily activities because that is the ultimate gratification they would get out from their work. But a lot of times they could only do so much and trust me a lot do grieve as their patients passed away. Medical advancement had not reached the stage where we could act God and death is inevitable.

  2. #2 by undergrad2 on Sunday, 13 April 2008 - 5:39 am

    “Health Minister said yesterday that this was useful for those who had failed the examination for a maximum of three times.” STAR

    Our medical degrees are not universally recognized the way they were in the 60s and 70s when we only had one university with a medical faculty. Today despite the increased number of facilities offered by local universities, medical students are being sent abraod to hitherto unheard of foreign universities with reputation of sorts and hence the problem in having one standard for all.

    Medical students like lawyers failing more than a predetermined number of times should be barred from ever sitting again. Their repeated attempts at sitting for the exam show among others that they do not have the aptitude needed. It is after all a demanding profession of which members have human lives in their hands – and many times literally so. Not all who want to be doctors can make it. It is only natural to safeguard standards.

    Cases of medical negligence are practically unheard of in Malaysia. Does that mean that our doctors are among the best in the world? It means cases of medical negligence are hard to prove and involve expensive and time consuming and complex litigation which few of us could afford. In the U.S. you would need health insurance in order to be able to see your doctor. Otherwise you could not afford it. The contract provides for the availability of legal counsel which is one reason why doctors’ fees are not cheap. It is a litigation oriented society. Doctors have had to pay high insurance premiums to protect themselves from litigation. In turn this high cost is passed on to the patients.

    In Malaysia health insurance provided by employers to their employees is non-existent. Correct me if I’m wrong. If you cannot afford to pay for your medical bills then you cannot get medical treatment. You are on your own. It is primitive by modern day standards.

    This is the extent to which politics has played a role in the declining standard of the medical profession and in our health system. Should I have confidence in a system which trains doctors i.e. those with hijabs on, who would prod and touch their patients only with their pens instead of their hands?

  3. #3 by undergrad2 on Sunday, 13 April 2008 - 5:58 am

    The U.K. has its NHS but the system for years appears to be suffering from the lack of government funding.

  4. #4 by allasstra on Sunday, 13 April 2008 - 6:22 am

    quote :

    # undergrad2 Says:
    Today at 05: 58.13 (22 minutes ago)

    The U.K. has its NHS but the system for years appears to be suffering from the lack of government funding.

    —healthcare in uk are free, wasnt it ?

  5. #5 by Penang_soul on Sunday, 13 April 2008 - 7:19 am

    20.5% pengetua, guru besar bukan Melayu

    KUALA TERENGGANU 12 April – Sebanyak 1,987 atau 20.5 peratus daripada keseluruhan sekolah rendah dan sekolah menengah di seluruh negara mempunyai pengetua atau guru besar bukan Melayu.

    Timbalan Menteri Pelajaran, Datuk Razali Ismail berkata, bilangan mereka akan terus dipertingkatkan dari semasa ke semasa ke arah menjadikan sekolah di negara ini lebih beraspirasi nasional.

    ”Perangkaan ini sekali gus menolak dakwaan sesetengah pihak kononnya kementerian meminggirkan masyarakat bukan Melayu untuk menerajui pentadbiran sekolah,” katanya.


  6. #6 by undergrad2 on Sunday, 13 April 2008 - 8:33 am


    Yes, if you are from the lower income and you are a student etc. and if you got a kid who goes to school, your kid would get free milk and does not have to pay for school books etc and on top of that you the parent would get a weekly allowance for each child.

    You do not need to pay each time you see a doctor. You may have to pay a small amount when you see a dentist. It is hard for you to see a specialist though.

    This may have changed a little since the last time I was living there.

  7. #7 by undergrad2 on Sunday, 13 April 2008 - 8:37 am

    If you are married, have a wife who goes to hospital to deliver it is all paid for. On top of that there is a nurse who visits her at home and gives free pampers and milk etc.

    The system of cradle to grave in the U.K. today is facing some crisis through lack of funding.

  8. #8 by Jeffrey on Sunday, 13 April 2008 - 9:02 am

    Seems to me the problems are variations of same theme as in many other areas of national life so afflicted with anomalies – health care system also pays the price to ameliorate decades of ethnic rivalry/jealousy in relation to recruitment/composition of professionals by aggressive implementation of NEP/DEB/NDP in the medical (and legal, business & other professions). How else as part of the Malay Agenda to increase number of Malay doctors (and other professionals in general) 10 fold from 4% in 1970 to over 40%??

  9. #9 by nckeat88 on Sunday, 13 April 2008 - 9:16 am

    These doctors from ‘unrecognised’ medical school shouldn’t have gone to these schools in the first place and screwed up thier life.

  10. #10 by Killer on Sunday, 13 April 2008 - 11:22 am

    While I can undestand and emphatise with “Frustrated doctor”, I am puzzled over his/her serious allegations about JPA paying off universities and involving in manipulations and shady dealings.

    Sadly this is another example of the Malaysian mentality of making totally unsubstianted and baseless accusations, using ethnicity as basis. It has been said that the patriotism is the last bastion of a scoundrel. But in Malaysia, racism has become the first bastion of the proverbial scoundrel.

    I fully acknowledge that the restrictions placed by the professional bodies, the university intake and the NEP are rather unfair, myself had been one of the victims too. We had been reading a torrents of letters from frustrated people on how CLP and MMC. But very little has been said from the other side of the story, the seedier side of this two-way street.

    Obviously you need to super smart to enter local U for such premium courses. But if you not then there are plenty of other opportunities. There is more to life than a medical or law degree. But if you insist you want to be a doctor (and don’t tell me its your passion to serve the people, it is more like a passion for money) then you need to make sure that you enter a recognised university, for which there are many.

    Of course, a lot of people resort to unrecognised universities citing financial constraints. This might as well the reason for many, though an idiotic excuse.

    But the untold truth is that these universities are preferred because they have low (or no) admission standards. I know many of my relatives who had sent their kids to universities that I never knew existed for one simple reason- easy to get admitted into. If you start to check these students’ academic background, one would be unpleasantly surprised by the uniformly poor exam results. In fact, some of the students were actually from non-science streams in Form 5 !

    Many people do not know that a number of doctors in out midst today only obtained Grade 3 in their SPM/MCE exams or even flopped the exam. And many of these “flops” are now very successful, which only goes to show that you don’t have to be smart to successful. All one needs is a rich parent.

    It has been years since I had last seen a doctor and even if I do I am very cautious and always check their credentials first. I have seen so many misdiagnosis and mistakes by these overseas trained doctors happening to people around me that I could write a book.

    But I also need to add that the new generations of doctors being produced locally are also equally pathetic (though not all of them). There is something seriously wrong with them and how they end up as doctors is beyond me.

    Another thing that makes me fuming mad as a taxpayer is attitude of many of the JPA sponsored medical students in Europe (esp in the UK and the Eire). All of them cite passion to serve as their reason for selecting medicine but once they see the financial potential of being a doctor there they decided not to return home. And they give the most pathetic reasons for their betrayal of the rakyat. Some develop over-night political consciousness while the others belatedly and suddenly realise being a doctor in a public hospital is hard work (read these cry baby letters in Malaysiakini) . This is rip off of tax payers’ money and these parasites should be sued for breach of contracts.

    Personally I feel JPA should stop sending students to the First World countries for medicine and other financially lucrative courses. In fact, we are not being smart by spending billions for these students. What we should do is to expand or build more medical faculties locally and save on outflow of money.

  11. #11 by vehir on Sunday, 13 April 2008 - 11:29 am

    Every student who went to unrecognised medical colleges like in India and Taiwan and China.

    MCA a partner with the coalition BN government for 50 years never wanted to get these universities in Taiwan and China to be recognised by the BN government. Why were they very coward? Why they never pushed forward to get recognised? Did they have a different agenda for not recognising the medical colleges/

    Likewise MIC also failed to get the Indian colleges which are unrecognised to be recognised. What were they doing for the past 50 years.

    India has many medical colleges. Only about 30-40 colleges are recognsied by JPA. Why the rest was placed under schedule Two as unrecognised.

    Many tried to get local universities to do medicine. But cannot get a placed due to quota system. Even with qualifying pointers not given a place locally.

    Cant get a scholarship if going overseas to do medicine. Parents cough out more than RM150K – Rm1million to get their childrens to be become doctors. End of the day they come back and serve the government.

    Malaysia has shortage of doctors. If the government is going to control the intake locally and derecognise medical colleges overseas there will be no end to achieving the objective for patients to have a better health system.

    All derecognised colleges must be recognised back. Get more unrecognised colleges from China, Taiwan and India to be recognised giving more options to Malaysians to become doctors.
    No point sending our childrens to Europe, US and UK were minimum you need RM 1 million to become a doctor.

    Pakatan Rakyat should urge the government to open up these restricted areas for depreiving our childrens from becoming a doctor although they spend their own money without any help from the government.

    No one should stop our childrens from becoming a doctor. He/she is taking up the medical degree not for fun. They know how hard it will be to go up the ladder to graduate as doctors. Their dreams must come true.

  12. #12 by vehir on Sunday, 13 April 2008 - 12:34 pm

    Can anyone comment on these MEDICAL STUDENTS and the lack of JPA to monitor them after graduation

    Sunday April 13, 2008
    Grads prefer to stay on overseas
    [email protected]

    PUTRAJAYA: More and more medical students sent abroad to study on government scholarships, many costing more than a million ringgit each, are breaking their 10-year bond by refusing to return and serve in public hospitals.

    “This is a sore point with us. In 2006, 21 medical students in Britain did not return. Last year, the number was 63. For those studying in Ireland, three students did not come back in 2006 while last year, 27 did not return,” said Human Capital Development division director Datin Madinah Mohamad.

    She said these students cost the Government up to RM1.1mil each in funding for the five-year course.

    “The number has been steadily increasing each year since 2003. The excuse these undergraduates often give is that they want to do their two-year housemanship over there and continue with sub-specialisation courses.

    “But when they do so, they may then get employed and become eligible for registration in Britain. With the pay they are getting there, it’s highly unlikely they will come back and serve here,” she said in an interview here yesterday.

    Since 2003, 145 students from Britain and 85 from Ireland have not come back. However, only three from Russia, two from Jordan and one from Japan failed to return.

    Another reason many students chose to stay back could have been due to PSD’s perceived lenient treatment of such students in the past and a paltry penalty of RM160,000 each before 2003, she said.

    “It encouraged undergraduates, who have seen many of their seniors being let off, to follow suit,” she said.

    Although the department had officers in Britain and Ireland to track down errant medical students, some in the last year of studies ignored notices and others did not bother to show up when called for interviews.

    She said tougher measures were needed to make them come back and serve or pay their bond.

    The department was now seriously considering suggestions to make errant students repay twice or thrice the sum of their scholarships as punishment.

    “We need to study this recommendation,” she said, adding the department had also handed 30 such cases since 1989 to the Attorney-General’s Chambers for legal action and had even declared one former student bankrupt.

    But legal action was slow and guarantors would be taken to court only as the last resort, she said.

    Since PSD’s Overseas Scholarship Programme started in 2000, RM2.15bil in scholarships had been given to 10,485 students up to the end of last year.

  13. #13 by Killer on Sunday, 13 April 2008 - 3:43 pm


    Obviously language is an issue and another problem is the quality. The quality of medical education in China is hardly can be considered as world class. In the case of India, there are a few with very high standards but the rest sub-standard.

    This issue has been politicised in the past but I note that lately the govt has been more lenient and liberal in approving more universities.

    Personally I can’t see why these parents keep harping on approving more universities when there are already enough on the approved list.

    The problem is that the trade off between cost and quality. The parents want the cheapest and the least stringent university while the official want quality to be world class.

    Ever wonder why some parents keep sending their kids to overseas even there are places available in local private universities ? Again they want the cheapest and the least stringent medical seats.

  14. #14 by catharsis on Sunday, 13 April 2008 - 9:02 pm



  15. #15 by Loyal Malaysian on Sunday, 13 April 2008 - 9:27 pm

    I sympathised with the plight of the unrecognised doctors. If the ‘qualifying tests’ are above board and professionally conducted, I believed we will not have seen the complaints over these years.
    But from the informatiob divulged, that seems to be not the caes.
    LEt’s hope the government will do what is right and proper so that this valuable human resourse of the country can be utilised.

  16. #16 by cemerlang on Sunday, 13 April 2008 - 9:50 pm

    It looks like as if there is some internal struggle going on. One group of officers agree to send the students off to Indonesia, Russian and Timbuktu to do their doctoring studies. Another group of officers only want students to go to Malaya University, University of something in U.K., University of something in Australia. I suspect that the politicians sitting in their portfolios do not know or do not care to know the internal struggle that is going on. That is why there is so much confusion. New doctors coming back with no work. New local doctors get appointed straight away. Then which group of officers decide to contract foreign doctors ? Now, you want to talk about Little Napoleons ? These officers who make and break the whatever rules or no rule do it right in front of the eyes of the Minister and yet what happens ? But outside there, the world community is ever so kind to Malaysia that it willingly bestow upon her the award of something and something. Is the outside world so bad that it makes Malaysia look so good ? So is there something about Malaysia that people just want to make use of ?

  17. #17 by shadow on Sunday, 13 April 2008 - 10:02 pm

    Unreg. doctors don’t you worry. You’ll soon be saved once the PR takes over the federal govt.

  18. #18 by shortie kiasu on Sunday, 13 April 2008 - 10:17 pm

    If the medical degrees are not recognised, it means they are not recognised, and the holders cannot practise here because they created doubt in the mind of the patients!

    The only way is for these garduates to get recognised through proper channel available. If not there would no place for them to practise medicine here.

    All know in the first place that they took their own risk to pursue a degree in medicine not recognised by the local medical authority in the country.

    If you prefer the risk in the first place, then you do not blame others for the consequential costs.

    It does not hold water if you bring in other issues like discrimination, NEP to substantiate the argument that the unrecognized degree to be recognized and be accepted just like that. You have to go through the mills established under the procedure and the policies because you are dealing with LIFE.

  19. #19 by Killer on Sunday, 13 April 2008 - 10:47 pm

    catharsis Says:

    Today at 21: 02.31 (1 hour ago)


    Catharsis, would you allow a doctor who did Arts stream in Form 5 to treat your family members ?

    The reason why these countries accept Malaysians are because there is a huge shortage of doctors due to socioeconomic changes in their countries. But this situation is changing and it is no longer so easy to get employed now. The rules are more stringent now and also due to the fact that there is an influx of cheap Eastern Europeans (allowed under EU rulings).

    I hope the govt will not be stupid enough to accept back these doctors who had betrayed the rakyat for money when these people are starting to get laid off in the coming months and years. These ungrateful students do not realise that they can’t stay in Europe forever and sooner or later will have to return.

    So expect letters in Malaysiakini in the near future from doctors wanting to return “to serve the country” but not allowed by the Ministry due to poor salary, etc, etc.

  20. #20 by HJ Angus on Monday, 14 April 2008 - 2:20 am

    Graduates from non-EU countries will find it very difficult to practise in the UK soon as the rules have been changed.

    Don’t plan to work in the UK or you will be disappointed.
    It should be interesting to see the full list of those recalcitrant doctors and who the parents are.

  21. #21 by Plaintruth on Monday, 14 April 2008 - 5:48 am

    Thousands of cases and stories (Hope Yet For Med Grads – 10th April 2008 on the Star newspaper) like this was hidden from the general public for a long time ever since the NEP implemented.

    This sickening syndrom stemmed from racism to help the “weak” malay at the expense of the rakyat. In just eight years the malay government had spent RM2,150,000,000 for scholarship (you know which race of people get it). Are the Raykat aware what is the economic returns?

    It is time to set up a royal commission to investigate and publish the findings. Let’s start with this case.


  22. #22 by lakilompat on Monday, 14 April 2008 - 9:25 am

    Abt. the RM 2 billions, no doubt lack of transparency in there, which race pocketed the most? I saw major clinics in Malaysia are run by Indian or chinese, seldom Malay doctors, where are they?

  23. #23 by catharsis on Monday, 14 April 2008 - 8:12 pm

    Killer Says:…………………………..Catharsis, would you allow a doctor who did Arts stream in Form 5 to treat your family members ?……………………….




  24. #24 by catharsis on Monday, 14 April 2008 - 8:29 pm

    …………………….These ungrateful students do not realise that they can’t stay in Europe forever and sooner or later will have to return……………………….



  25. #25 by kingandcountry on Tuesday, 15 April 2008 - 6:45 am

    It seems that the medical market nowadays is saturated with doctors. There is a surplus of medical graduates, and even the public sector has the luxury of choosing who to hire.

    In a proper country other then malaysia, this would be good for the patients. It would mean only those who can provide the best service will survive in the industry.

    Sadly enough, the case of Malaysia is that the selection is not based on merit, but is influenced by many immature and laughable paradigms.

    I personally think that where one graduates from should not be the determining factor for recognition/employment. A commited medical student will learn even if you shut him up in a phone booth.

    And off course, who is to say that the current local grads are of high standards? The selection is very much influenced by race too…

    Baring in mind that to succeed in medicine, besides having good academic credentials, it requires the correct personality. Many people went into medicine because of a caring, compassionate attitude to others. THey will certainly be good doctors, regardless of where they graduated from.

  26. #26 by KKK on Tuesday, 15 April 2008 - 4:37 pm

    I hear the Indian are the one running the show in MMC. Is that true? Any way, who ever is running the MMC show should be asked to explain themselves.

  27. #27 by boobear on Saturday, 19 April 2008 - 9:48 pm

    In frustrated doctor’s letter, I must affirm the existence of TUTORIALS in the “NIGHT before exam” special ONLY for Malay students. It was a fact in the late 1980’s, and I’m sure is still in practice in some if not all IPTAs.

  28. #28 by boobear on Saturday, 19 April 2008 - 9:51 pm

    In support of Plaintruth, the only way we can take steps to rectify such things is by eventually having a “political earthquake” and put the Federal Govt also in the hands of PRakyat !!

    A proper change starts with the top. If the head of the fish is rotten, how do we expect the rest to stay fresh.

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