Don't sacrifice excellence for bureaucracy, Guan Eng says over failure to recognise medical specialists from parallel pathway programmes

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, April 17 — The parallel pathway programme for medical specialists is recognised globally and should be accepted here in Malaysia as well, said DAP chairman Lim Guan Eng, expressing his agreement with Malaysian Association for Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery (MATCVS) President Dr Basheer Ahamed Abdul Kareem.

In a Facebook post today, the DAP chairman highlighted that the government should not sacrifice merits over “mindless bureaucracy,” citing the risk of the programme’s graduates being disqualified on their own soil but accepted overseas.

“Graduates of the parallel pathway programme are now serving in the best hospitals in the world but face the risk of being disqualified as not good enough to serve at our local hospitals.

“Let us not sacrifice excellence and meritocracy for mindless bureaucracy,” he said in a Facebook post this morning.

Echoing the sentiment of the MATCVS president, Lim said that the programme is recognised by regulators from the United Kingdom, Singapore and Hong Kong and that the exit exams were also coordinated by the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, among others.

The parallel pathway programme began as a joint venture by Tan Sri Dr Yahya Awang, also known as the father of cardiac surgery in Malaysia, to widen opportunities for talented local doctors and to tackle the specialist doctor shortage in Malaysia.

Dr Dayang Anita Abdul Aziz, formerly with Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, claimed that amending the Medical Act 1971 to resolve the non-recognition of parallel pathway training for specialists was a mistake, and questioned whether providing recognition to those graduates was safe, as reported by the healthcare news site CodeBlue last week.

CodeBlue also reported that Dr Dayang Anita claimed that the “non-accredited” parallel pathway was “not equivalent” to local Master’s degree programmes.

Yesterday, Dr Basheer said that Dr Dayang Anita’s claims were unsubstantiated, without evidence, and an insult to the founding fathers of the programme, news site Free Malaysia Today reported.

Dr Basheer also added that parallel pathway programme graduates are easily employable and offered jobs in the United Kingdom, Singapore and Hong Kong.