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MMC’s decision on specialists highly suspect
Published on: Sunday, April 14, 2024
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While recognising MMC’s autonomy and its discretion in the decision-making process, I feel it should at least have an established mechanism to evaluate the competency of returning Malaysian doctors trained abroad.
I REFER to the report on Dr Lu Yeow Yuen whose application to be registered on the National Specialist Register was rejected by the Malaysian Medical Council (MMC), He teaches neurosurgeons, but can’t be one in Malaysia.

I am compelled to share my own experiences with the regulatory processes of the MMC.

As a consultant surgeon trained in reputable institutions in Singapore and the United Kingdom, I embarked on the path to obtaining specialist registration in Malaysia with optimism and a desire to contribute my skills to Malaysian healthcare.

However, despite holding qualifications that met international standards and having completed rigorous training, including a prestigious fellowship in advanced cancer work in the UK, my application was rejected.

There were several shortcomings in the application process, including lack of transparency and consistency within the regulatory framework.

Firstly, inconsistencies and confusing information on the website (this was in 2022; they have since “backdated” some new information to it) caused significant confusion and made the process more complex.

For applicants, clarity and transparency are essential, and the presence of misleading or contradictory information not only served to exacerbate frustrations but also raised concerns about the reliability of the credentialing process.

To my surprise, the reason provided for rejecting my application was that my postgraduate qualification was not recognised! This was a stark contrast to the information available on the website prior to the submission of my application.

This led me to my next observation of the apparent lack of interest in recognising internationally recognised credentials. As a progressive society, it is imperative that our healthcare system acknowledges and values qualifications obtained from reputable institutions worldwide.

Failing to do so will only create more barriers for returning Malaysians who are highly skilled professionals, and this will risk exacerbating the issue of talent migration.

While recognising MMC’s autonomy and its discretion in the decision-making process, I feel it should at least have an established mechanism to evaluate the competency of returning Malaysian doctors trained abroad.

Without a standardised protocol, ambiguity is introduced and may undermine the integrity of the credentialing process.

The application procedure also lacked a few key components, such as the requirement to submit case logs (of which I volunteered), face-to face interview with the council, and consultation of my application with specialists in the relevant fields.

Last but not least, the absence of an option for offering conditional registration with a clear pathway to full credentialing was a glaring oversight.

This mechanism would provide an opportunity for returning Malaysian specialists to demonstrate their capabilities and address any specific requirements for full recognition.

At the same time, it would allow them to contribute to the current manpower-deficient healthcare system.

As a committed healthcare professional, I believe that transparency, accountability and inclusivity are essential pillars of any regulatory framework.

It is my hope that my experience, along with those of Dr Lu (neurosurgeon) and other cardiothoracic surgeons, will serve as a catalyst for positive change in the regulatory processes governing healthcare credentialing in Malaysia.

Malaysian Surgeon

Singapore


- The views expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of the Daily Express.

- If you have something to share, write to us at: [email protected]


 



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