UMS MEDICAL SCHOOL READY IN THREE YEARS
Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) has created history again as it will soon have its own Medical School building worth RM259 million. It will be among the nine higher learning institutions in the Country to have a Medical School. Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled b Nordin in his speech during the ground breaking ceremony of the building yesterday, said that the Federal Government had approved 19 selected projects for the development of UMS under the Ninth Malaysia Plan involving a sum of RM644.389 million. The Medical School which is to be built on 35 acres of land in the main UMS campus, is among the 19 approved projects. “The cost of constructing the school includes the administration office, teaching and learning laboratory, cost related to biomedical, family health, surgery and research centres,” he said. Khaled added apart from being a centre of knowledge, the school could also help to meet the manpower needs. He said one of the Government’s main focuses on developing human capital is to produce more doctors to ease the shortage in the Country. According to him, the current ratio of one doctor to 1,350 people shows that the country still needs doctors. “The Government is aiming to have a ratio of one doctor to 650 people. Now we have about 21,000 doctors in the country. We still need 20,000 more,” Khaled said, adding the school would take three years to complete. Upon completion, the intake of medical students will be increased to 150 a year from the current intake of 71. UMS Vice Chancellor Professor Datuk Dr Mohd Noh Dalimin, who was present at the ceremony, said that opportunity for the University to develop new programs, especially in the medical fields and other related fields, would be opened widely once the building is completed. This can also help to enhance the level of health in community as well as the level of medical services in Sabah and generally in Malaysia, he said. He hoped that more studies could be done, especially on the problem of thalassaemia faced by villagers in Kudat. According to Mohd Noh, to date UMS has a total of 329medicalstudents and has 61 lecturers, including from overseas. Mohd Noh who is going to retire next week, also said that they are waiting for the completion of the Rural Medical Centre in Sikuati, Kudat which is being built at a cost of RM15million on 10 acres of land. He is confident that the University’s desire to have its own teaching hospital will be materialized soon under the Higher Education Ministry’s leadership. Mohd Noh also said that UMS students are using the Likas and Queen Elizabeth Hospitals and other nearby hospitals to do practical training. Also present at the ceremony were Mayor Datuk Iliyas Ibrahimand deans and department heads of the UMS.