MOH to propose Medical Act 1971 amendment

Malaysia’s Ministry of Health will be meeting with the Attorney-General for the proposal of the amendment to the Medical Act 1971.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr. S. Subramaniam said the amendment is to insert the clause on Bahasa Melayu subject at the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) level for the hiring of medical officers.

"The ministry has proposed for a minimum pass in SPM Bahasa Melayu paper for medical officers since 2015. We realised that to strengthen such a requirement, there is a need to amend the Act.

"The Act only says that those with recognised medical degree will be eligible to undergo housemanship in the government hospitals.

"Now, we want to make it compulsory for these medical graduates to pass the BM subject in SPM besides just having recognised medical degree," he told reporters after launching the new Obstetric and Neonatal wing at Putrajaya Hospital.

Dr. Subramaniam said for a start, the ministry is implementing the move administratively through the Public Service Department as an employing agency.

"We just need to have a minor amendment to the Act. We will bring the proposal to the Attorney-General in the near future before it is tabled in Parliament," he said.

He said the ministry is expecting to resolve the issue of 23 doctors who pursued their medical studies abroad within a year.

Yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the cabinet has decided that there will be no waiving of the BM pass requirement for any job in the civil service.

In line with the decision, the waiver on a pass with a credit in the Bahasa Melayu subject at the SPM level for hiring of medical officers on Grade UD41 on a contract basis had been revoked.

Zahid had said there is a need to amend the Medical Act 1971 to make it mandatory for medical officers to serve two years after their housemanship and insert the clause on the Bahasa Melayu pass requirement.

Meanwhile, Dr. Subramaniam said the government spent RM26 million to modify the nurses hostel into a new Obstetric and Neonatal block at Putrajaya Hospital.

Subramaniam said the move was to ease the congestion of patients seeking for obstetric and neonatal treatment.

"A total RM16 million were spent to upgrade the building while another RM10 million was allocated for tools and equipment.

"We use the National Blue Ocean Strategy approach as it is cost efficent. If we were to build a new building, it will cost about RM100 million.This is also to meet the growing demand for obstetric services," he said.

The Putrajaya Hospital's Obstetric and Neonatal wing has four levels for obstretric and gynaechology; special care nursing; and peadiatric units, with a capacity of 61 beds.

The construction works started in 2014 and completed in December last year.

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