There are about 200 or more Indian Malaysians and a few Chinese who have graduated as doctors from universities around the world not recognised by the Public Services Department. As such, before we can practice in Malaysia, the Malaysian Medical Council (MMC) requires us to sit and pass a qualifying exam. The pass rate of this exam is less then 10 percent.
Many of my seniors who sat for the exam said they did quite alright in the exam but the MMC rejected them. Where is the transparency? None among the Malaysian universities are ranked in the world’s top 200, yet the MMC uses them to conduct examinations from doctors like us who are from among very best varsities in world. Does that make any sense?
Why the government is willing to spend a lot of money and hire overseas doctors but rejecting its own professional citizens? The health ministry, in 2002, allowed doctors from non-recognised varsities to be exempted from this exam on the condition they performed another two years of government service.
Its’ so disappointing the way the professionals are treated over here. The government said it needs 40,000 doctors by 2020. We have only a few medical universities in Malaysia with each university taking about a maximum 200 students a year. With about 200 to 300 overseas Malaysian medical students returning a year, we won’t reach that target in the13 years to 2020.
I’m sure the government will have to take in more and more foreign doctors (as is happening now) spending an unnecessary amount for salaries, housing and other benefits. Why spend on foreign doctors when there is a pool of Malaysians doctors yet to be utilised?
All of us who graduated from non-recognised medical universities were forced to study there as that time there were no agents for recognised medical universities in Indonesia. Even then, all the Malaysian students in Indonesia were sent there all on a government-to-government basis through JPA and Mara scholarships.
We are not rich people and really couldn’t afford to go to recognised universities in India, Indonesia or elsewhere. Its’ too expensive and besides, almost all the places for medicine have ben pre-booked for JPA and Mara scholars. Of course, there’s no place for us in local varsities despite our excellent results.
The things is that from 1997 to 2003, many bumiputera medical graduates from non-recognised universities in Indonesia were immediately transfered to a recognised university there. When I and my friends met this university’s representatives, they said they could take us in but we must be approved by the Malaysian government.
We then approached our Education Ministry which said they couldn’t approve us because we were neither JPA or Mara students! After several meetings with the MMC, they finally allowed us to transfer to this university by they unkindly fixed a very early deadline which we could not me.
Indian and Chinese Malaysian medical students had no chances as the transfer needed proper documentation which needed time for preparation. What I want to ask is this: what is the future of doctors who are not recognized here not because we are not capable but because we are discriminated against?
What am I asking for from my country Malaysia? Just to allow me and all other Malaysians in the same situation to practice as a doctor and serve our country. The MMC’s exam for us at three public universities are not done in a transparent and fair manner. We believe there is a racial bias in the pass rate and we have lost confidence in that exam.
All non-recognised Malaysian medical doctors at present should be given the chance to be absorbed immediately into government service without sitting for any exam. However, they would have to perform another two years of government service as proposed in 2002. We love our country but we are confused about our future.