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Timeline of Malaysia's recent cardiothoracic surgeons issue

Publish date: Sun, 26 May 2024, 04:46 PM

Feb 4 - Malaysian Association for Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery (MATCVS) president Datuk Dr Basheer Ahamed Abd Kareem said there is currently a long waiting list for life-saving heart surgery at all seven Health Ministry (MOH) cardiothoracic centres nationwide.

- MATCVS said it is extremely concerned that the Malaysian Medical Council (MMC) recently rejected specialist registration applications for the National Specialist Register (NSR) by four pioneer Cardiothoracic Parallel Pathway graduates, essentially disabling them from practising as cardiothoracic surgeons despite six years of training.

March 25 - MMC president Datuk Dr Radzi Abu Hassan denied that the Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCSEd) in Cardiothoracic Surgery is recognised by the MMC. A task force is set up to resolve the issue.

March 26 - Bandar Kuching member of parliament Dr Kelvin Yii urges MMC and MOH to address confusion over the recognition and registration of cardiothoracic surgeons who graduated from the RCSEd.

March 27 - The Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) requests for clarification from MMC due to conflicting information about the recognition of the cardiothoracic parallel pathway.

- MMA president Dr Azizan Abdul Aziz said previous data obtained from the National Specialist Register (NSR) suggests that the RCSEd diploma was accepted and that Malaysian specialists holding this certification were registered in the NSR.

March 27 - Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad said he will present a solution to the Cabinet to address the issue of graduates not listed in the NSR.

March 28 - Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Zambry Abdul Kadir said Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) has been granted accreditation by the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) to conduct training courses for cardiothoracic surgeons since 2020.

- Zambry said the ministry is ready to assist with issues related to the medical parallel pathway programme and public university courses accredited by the MQA.

April 2 - Health Ministry said Parallel Pathway Programme graduates will be recognised and the ministry will propose to the Cabinet to expedite the proposed amendment to the Medical Act 1971 (Act 50).

April 25 - Health website Codeblue reported that UiTM was considering opening its cardiothoracic surgery postgraduate training programme to non-bumiputera trainees, as the UiTM-National Heart Institute programme was the only one of its kind offered locally.

May 2 - Zambry, however, said there was no discussion to open the UiTM cardiothoracic surgery postgraduate programme to non-Bumiputera students, stating the need to address underlying issues first.

May 14 - The UiTM student representative council calls for students to wear black in protest against the plan to admit non-Bumiputera students to its cardiothoracic surgery postgraduate programme.

May 15 - Zambry reiterates the issue had not been considered at any level within the ministry or the cabinet.

May 22 - UiTM student representative council apologises for causing a 'misunderstanding' by its recent protest against calls to admit non-Bumiputera students to its university.

May 26 - Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim announced that the Cabinet will discuss the issue on Wednesday (May 29).

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