Official Visit from the Faculty of Medicine, Universitas Hasanuddin, to the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Hospital Al-Sultan Abdullah

On the crisp Wednesday morning of July 12th, 2023, the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine warmly received an eminent delegation from Universitas Hasanuddin (UNHAS), Sulawesi. This international rendezvous aligned with the continuous commitment stated in the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) ratified in August 2022. The MoU was a significant agreement between the Faculty of Medicine, UNHAS and the Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM).

The distinguished delegates from UNHAS included Dr Rumaisah Hasan, President of PERDOSRI (Perhimpunan Dokter Spesialis Kedokteran Fisik dan Rehabilitasi Indonesia), Dr Husnul Mubarak, Head of the Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, and Dr Yose Waluyo, Head of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Study Programme. Representing UiTM were Associate Professor Dr Fazah Akhtar Hanapiah, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and the President of the Malaysian Association of Rehabilitation Physicians (MARP), Dr Nor Faridah Ahmad Roslan, Head of the Department, and a team of academic, clinical, and administrative staff from the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine at Hospital Al-Sultan Abdullah (HASA). This diplomatic exchange aimed to deepen the partnership between the two institutions, with an eye towards advancing rehabilitation medicine in Indonesia and Malaysia through strategic, collaborative efforts.

The delegates were welcomed at the Anjung Zam-Zam lobby at 10 am, with warm greetings and a personalised welcome billboard. The camaraderie was palpable as they took part in a jovial group photography session in the hospital lobby. They then proceeded to the Tun Abdul Razak Library (PTAR) Meeting Room for an engaging session that commenced with introductions and culminated with insightful presentations. Each party showcased their respective departments and medical associations, illuminating their accomplishments and strategising future directions.

There was a unanimous sense of mutual understanding and shared concern about the limited number of rehabilitation physicians within the health and education ministries of both countries. With their close-knit fraternity, the conversation revolved around optimising their partnership to augment academic and research capacities in the rehabilitation field across Indonesia and Malaysia.

In parallel with UiTM, UNHAS launched a postgraduate training program, despite a limited number of academic staff. The exchange proposed the possibility of cross-institutional lecturing, inviting educators from each institution to provide lectures to trainees through both virtual and physical platforms. As the dialogues wrapped up, the delegates were treated to a taste of Malaysia with traditional kueh Melayu and teh tarik.

The delegates were subsequently given a guided tour of HASA’s facilities, which included PTAR, executive clinics, and the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine clinic, hydropool, physiotherapy gym, occupational therapy gym, speech & language therapy consultation room, and the gait analysis laboratory. This was followed by a delightful lunch featuring authentic Malaysian cuisine.

The memorable occasion concluded with an exchange of university plaques, a symbol of an enduring partnership, followed by another commemorative photography session at the HASA lobby. The fruitful visit marked another significant milestone in the relationship between UNHAS and UiTM, bolstering their commitment to the advancement of rehabilitation medicine in their respective nations. The successful visit inspired anticipation for upcoming academic and research engagements, thus further solidifying the mutual ambition to foster and propel the field of rehabilitation medicine for years to come.