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It’s a worthy exception

The KPJ International University College of Nursing and Health Sciences will be the only new medical school during the moratorium on medical schools and programmes.

31-07-2011

The KPJ International University College of Nursing and Health Sciences will be the only new medical school during the moratorium on medical schools and programmes.

Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin said the decision stemmed from KPJ’s existing facilities that its education arm could leverage on.

The minister was referring to KPJ’s 20 hospitals nationwide which could be used as training hospitals for nursing students and aspiring doctors when KPJ launches its medical programmes.

"This institution is part of a medical group that has been in the business for a long time," he said in a ceremony at the ministry where he announced KPJ’s elevation to university college status on Monday.

"KPJ has met all the prerequisites based from capital to academic staffing and I am confident that the institution will play a big role in realising Malaysia’s ambitions as an education hub and contribute to research and development in the medical field," he added.

Mohamed Khaled earlier said that the five year freeze on new medical courses at institutions of higher learning had been approved by the Cabinet effective May 1.

He said it was an immediate measure to prevent the houseman glut from becoming worse and to ensure more focus on quality, and had given the assurance last December about the freeze or moratorium on medical programmes.

The moratorium, he added, would not affect the number of medical staff required by the country.

The move, he added, was a joint effort between the ministries of Higher Education and Health.

Mohamed Khaled said that KPJ could contribute specifically in the area of drug discovery, adding that the institution had applied for its status upgrade and the possibility to offer medical programmes long before the moratorium was announced.

With its status upgrade, KPJ hopes to offer degree programmes in pharmacy, physiotherapy, medical imaging and nursing in the near future.

The courses are currently being accredited by the Malaysian Qualifications Agency. Apart from its strong local presence, KPJ also has two hospitals in Jakarta, Indonesia.

The other hospitals in Klang, Kota Kinabalu, Muar and Pasir Gudang are due to be completed in the next two years.

KPJ Healthcare Bhd made over RM1.6bil in earnings in 2010 and has a market capitalisation of about RM20.6bil.

Its managing director Datin Paduka Siti Sa’diah Sheikh Bakir said the status elevation announcement was timely as the healthcare provider had a proven track record in the business.

She added that KPJ hoped to launch their medical programme within the next two years and a campus was being constructed in Nilai.

With the elevation, Malaysia-now has 23 private university colleges to complement 20 public varsities, 26 private universities and five foreign branch campuses.







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