Malaysian PM and Health Minister uphold medical student scholarships

Malaysian Medics International (MMI) has expressed its gratitude and support towards Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim and Health Minister Zaliha Mustafa for their decision to continue public scholarships for medical students in Malaysia. This announcement comes after the Public Service Department (PSD) considered ending scholarships for students in medicine, dentistry, and pharmacy.

MMI praised the government’s choice to prioritise the education of future healthcare professionals, stating that investing in their education is essential for the nation’s well-being and will have significant long-term benefits for society.

In addition, MMI urged the Health Ministry to review its existing publications on health personnel to provide an accurate and up-to-date picture of human resources in the sector. The organisation noted that the healthcare sector has undergone massive changes since the Covid-19 pandemic began three years ago.

The initial decision to discontinue PSD scholarships for medical students was based on a 2019 Health Ministry study that projected an oversupply of medical officers from 2026 to 2030. However, MMI highlighted that this projection did not take into account the nationwide decrease in healthcare professionals since the pandemic.

“The intentions to reallocate resources to other sectors will come at the cost of the healthcare system, which has undergone significant transformations since the Covid-19 pandemic,” MMI said.

MMI also called on the PSD to allow scholarship applicants to reapply for the scholarships after the deadline expired on April 2 this year. The organisation suggested that authorities could establish alternative platforms for applicants to apply for relevant scholarships.

“The investment in the education of healthcare professionals is crucial for the well-being of our nation and it will yield significant benefits for our society in the long run,” MMI reiterated.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim announced that the JPA will continue sponsoring students in medicine, dentistry, and pharmacy, citing ongoing demands for these sectors. Health Minister Zaliha Mustafa also confirmed that her ministry is prepared to review the 2019 study on the supply of future healthcare employees in the public sector.

World News

Lee Shuyi

Lee is an expat writer living in Thailand. She specialises in Southeast Asian news for the Thaiger. When she's not writing, Lee enjoys immersing herself in Thai culture and learning Thai.

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