- In reference to a letter published in Malaysiakini, “A letter to MMC from an Unemployed Doctor” dated on the 14th December 2016, the Malaysian Medical Council (MMC) would like to thank the writer and recognises the predicaments that the writer is facing, and hereby would like to clarify as the following.
- In pursuant to the Section 12(1) (aa) of the Medical Act 1971, any medical graduate who holds a basic medical degree from an institution not listed in the Second Schedule of the Medical Act is required to sit and passed an examination as may be prescribed or set for the purpose of the Medical Act by a body approved by the Minister.
- Previously the Medical Qualification Examination (MQE) which was conducted in collaboration with the 16 local universities were in place to cater for the need of the Section 12(1)(aa) of the Medical Act, but since the enactment of the Medical (Setting of Examination for Provisional Registration) Regulations 2015 under Medical Act 1971, the MMC was given the responsibility to be the ‘examination body’ and to conduct the Examination for Provisional Registration (EPR). Upon passing the examination, he or she can be considered for provisional registration by the MMC for the purpose of housemanship training as required under Section 13 of the Medical Act 1971.
- The procedure for EPR examination is prescribed in the Medical (Setting of Examination for Provisional Registration) Regulations 2015 enacted under Medical Act 1971, of which the candidates have to register for the examination and a fee of RM1,000 is being imposed. The first EPR was conducted successfully on 28th July 2016 at MMC, of which a total of 10 candidates sat for the examination. Many ground works and preparations are needed to conduct an examination of such importance. For instance, the committee, consisting of professors and academicians in medicine from both public and private universities, sat in many sessions to construct the examination papers for the conduct of the EPR examination.
- The EPR is scheduled to be conducted twice in a year. As such, the MMC is very much aware of the need for the scheduling of the examination, and it is important for it to be made known to the public in advance so that the candidates will be able to plan accordingly for the examination. The change from the MQE examination to the EPR as required by the regulation took place recently. Therefore the glitch that happened during this transition process is very much regretted. The next EPR examination for theory paper is scheduled to be held on the 30th March 2017 and 28th September 2017, and to be followed with clinical examination one month later respectively. The schedule in 2018 is going to mirror the schedule in 2017.
- It is unfortunate that the writer was caught during this transition phase when the MMC was reorganising the MQE and EPR examination, which has led to this misunderstanding; as the writer felt that he was not well informed by the MMC.
- Beside the registration fee for the EPR examination, the candidates need to pay RM3,000 for each of the theory component and clinical component of the examination. This cost covers the preparation for the question bank build-up, printing of the examination papers, and the conduct of the examination; which involves the invigilators’ and examiners’ allowances, logistics, model patients’ allowances (clinical component), venue set-up for theory and clinical examination. The comparison made with the fees imposed during the implementation of MQE is not appropriate, as the scenarios are different.
- The MMC takes note of the concerns raised by the writer, and will henceforth put in place proactive measures to ensure that the public and the candidates for the EPR examination are well informed in relation to the implementation of examination.
DATUK DR. NOOR HISHAM ABDULLAH
Director General of Health Malaysia and
President of Malaysian Medical Council
22th December 2016