Materia Medica Malaysiana

March 30, 2008

Newcastle medical campus for Iskandar

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 9:19 am

NST: KUALA LUMPUR: Newcastle University will open a medical education branch campus in the Iskandar Development Region (Iskandar), a move which is expected to halve the cost of producing a UK-educated doctor.
South Johor Investment Corporation Bhd senior vice-president (education development) Khairil Anwar Ahmad said construction of the branch campus was expected to start later this year.
The university would have an intake of about 150 students per year, he said.
“We are setting up the campus based on the demands of the university and expect to complete it by 2011.
“It will be one of four international universities that will be opened in Iskandar,” he said.
Khairil said arrangements were now being made to allow students to do their practical work at hospitals in the area.
“The students may also be able to do this at healthcare facilities in Iskandar later,” he said.
Khairil said Newcastle University was the first foreign university partner in Iskandar.
“The arrangement is that we provide the facility, then lease it to the university,” he said.
Malaysia has suffered from a shortage of doctors and a low doctor-to-patient ratio for some time.
In 2002, the country began a programme to bring in foreign doctors to alleviate a shortage of medical practitioners. However, since then the Health Ministry has stopped taking foreign doctors in, with some who were already here being sent back due to poor performance.
Currently, it costs RM1 million to train a doctor in England.
Newcastle University international medical education project manager David Forman said the degrees would be exactly the same as the ones that were offered in the UK.
“It’s not just a franchise or training programme. The programme will be the same. There will be no dilution of standards.”

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