Health Minister Dr S Subramaniam said 23 doctors who do not have a pass in the Bahasa Melayu (BM) paper of the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examination must sit for the paper until they pass.
"If they fail (this November), they will keep on taking (BM paper) until they pass," he said when asked what would happen if the 23 doctors did not pass the BM paper in November.
The minister said this when met by reporters after opening the Obstetrics and Neonatology block of Putrajaya Hospital today.
The cabinet meeting chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi yesterday decided to revoke the waiver on a pass with a credit in BM paper at SPM level for the hiring of medical officers (doctors) on Grade UD41 on a contract basis.
Ahmad Zahid, when announcing the decision yesterday, said only 23 doctors, including children of Malaysian diplomats who received medical education overseas, were allowed the waiver.
The Cabinet meeting also decided that the Medical Act 1971 would be amended to make it mandatory for medical officers to serve two years after their housemanship and insert a clause on the BM pass requirement.
Pending amendments to the Medical Act 1971 by the Parliament, the Public Service Department (PSD), as an employment agency, would implement the BM pass requirement in the recruitment of Grade UD41 medical officers on a contract basis.
Subramaniam added the issue was expected to be resolved within one year and by then all the appointed medical officers were expected to fulfil the requirement of passing BM at SPM level.
"This is because the cabinet's decision yesterday is clear. Those who do not pass BM paper at SPM level must take the necessary action," he said adding the group is too small compared to the number of graduate doctors each year.