Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia

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General Medical Council recognises Malaysian House Officer training for first time

Nusajaya, 8th June 2015 – Malaysians who study medicine at Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia (NUMed) and carry out their postgraduate clinical training programme in selected Malaysian hospitals can now apply for full registration as doctors with the UK General Medical Council (GMC) as well as the Malaysian Medical Council (MMC). 

This is the first GMC approved overseas programme for provisionally registered doctors to convert to full registration. The GMC is the UK statutory body that helps to protect patients and improve medical education and practice. The GMC standards define what makes a good doctor by setting out the professional values, knowledge, skills and behaviours required of all doctors eligible for registration with the Council. 

CEO and Provost of NUMed, Professor Reg Jordan said: “Today is an important milestone for NUMed. We were the first British medical school to set up overseas; this is a natural next step and one that will bring real benefit to our graduates. It means that young doctors successfully completing the approved overseas programme will be fully prepared to continue their career development and specialty training in the full knowledge that they have met the stringent requirements for registration with both the GMC and the MMC. GMC approval of this new programme for provisionally registered doctors is also highly deserved recognition of the quality of the Malaysian House Officer programme”

When students complete the five year long Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) programme at NUMed they graduate with a degree that is conferred by Newcastle University, UK, which is a UK Primary Medical Qualification.  Upon graduation NUMed graduates become eligible for provisional registration as a doctor with both the GMC and the MMC.

Datuk Dr Jeyaindran , the Deputy Director General of Health , Ministry of Health  said:  “House Officer training is a crucial part in the transformation of a medical student into a doctor. It is the time when their theoretical knowledge will be translated into medical practice. As such, it is imperative that this is done in a structured and comprehensive manner, which ensures that on completion of their house officer training, they will have acquired the necessary core knowledge and clinical skills that will be the basis of a  strong foundation for their further career development”.  

The close collaboration between the Ministry of Health with both NUMed and Health Education North East has resulted in a pilot project where the GMC has recognised the house officer training in five MOH hospitals 

Upon successful completion of the house office training programme in one of five Malaysian hospitals the trainee doctors from NUMed can convert their provisional registration to full GMC registration. This conversion occurs after successfully completing the house officer period, and this is overseen by Professor Namita Kumar, Postgraduate Dean, Health Education North East (HENE). This mirrors what happens to Newcastle graduates in the UK. The five hospitals currently in the scheme are Hospital Sultan Ismail, Hospital Sultanah Aminah and Hospital Kluang in Johor, and Hospital Queen Elizabeth in Sabah and Kuching General Hospital in Sarawak. 

Professor Namita Kumar has responsibility for the house officer programme in Malaysia leading to full registration of NUMed graduates. She is responsible to the GMC for the standards and quality of training provided for trainee doctors. She said: “GMC recognition is a globally recognised symbol of quality, and by registering, the NUMed trainee doctors will have increased mobility options and more opportunities to access to the exchange of knowledge, skills and best practice that comes with it.”

Vicki Treadell, British High Commissioner to Malaysia commented: “This is a genuine first and I am delighted that NUMed have achieved this major milestone. Dual recognition by the UK General Medical Council (GMC) and the Malaysian Medical Council (MMC) sets a new benchmark in our Education delivery partnership with Malaysia. It underlines our special relationship and the strength of collaboration we have achieved across many fields. Most importantly this is to our mutual benefit.” 

This announcement marks another first for NUMed. Newcastle was also the first UK University to establish a fully-owned medical campus overseas. The state-of-the-art campus located in Nusajaya, Johor was purpose built in 2011. Today there are 100 staff and almost 500 students studying at the international campus. The growth target is for 1,000 students and 180 staff by 2020.

NUMed plans to become a leading Southeast Asian centre of academic medicine – based upon Newcastle University’s strength in medical and biomedical teaching and research.  It also aims to support the nation’s aspiration to become an international education hub, and a global healthcare player.

The origins of medical education at Newcastle can be dated back to 1834 when a School of Medicine and Surgery was established in the Northern UK city.

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published on: 8 June 2015