According to a report from the Health Ministry, Malaysia needs about 160 cardiothoracic surgeons to achieve a ratio of one to 200,000 people. Currently, the country is lagging far behind with only 60 cardiothoracic specialists, representing one to 500,000 Malaysians.
In addressing the concern, Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) is working with the National Heart Institute (IJN) to offer a two-year (non-specialist) cardiothoracic post-graduate programme, the first of its kind in the country.
The initiative received the support and cooperation from the Malaysia Association of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgeon, said UiTM in a statement.
“Preliminary meetings between UiTM and IJN representatives focused on suggestions for collaboration in different areas mainly on education and research opportunities. UiTM Faculty of Medicine has also gone for visits to IJN.
“Preparations have been carried out for the programme to reach international standards, including collaboration with experienced specialists from the public and private services, as well as leading universities in Malaysia.
“The programme is in the final stage of approval from the Malaysian Medical Council before it can be offered to postgraduate students in September this year.”
The university is also in a discussion to finalise the collaboration with the Royal Australian College of Surgeon that was delayed due to the global pandemic.