KUALA LUMPUR: The output of local medical graduates is below the Health Ministry's (MOH) projected requirements, said Higher Education (MOHE) Minister Datuk Seri Dr Noraini Ahmad.

She said the MOH's Strategic Plan 2016-2020's target is a ratio of 1:400 of medical doctors to the population in Malaysia in 2025 with an average additional need per year of 4,000 new doctors.

Institutions of higher learning (IPT) in the country produced 2,967 medical graduates last year with 958 of them from public universities (IPTA) and 2,009 from private universities (IPTS).

"Referring to existing statistics, the output of local medical graduates is below MOH's projected requirements. However, under the Medical Act 1971, all medical graduates including those from abroad must register with the Malaysian Medical Council (MMC) to undergo compulsory service.

"To ensure a healthy balance between needs and job market demands as well as the country's aspirations, MOHE will from time to time monitor the intake of Bachelor of Medicine students which is currently based on the capacity of IPTs and subject to quotas set by the MMC," she said during the Ministers' Question Time session in the Dewan Rakyat today.

Noraini was replying to a question from Wong Hon Wai (PH-Bukit Bendera) about the number of medical and law graduates in 2020 and 2021, and whether the number of graduates would be sufficient to meet the demands of the job market.

On law graduates, 1,704 were produced from local IPTs last year comprising 1,098 and 606 graduates from IPTA and IPTS respectively.

"I would also like to share that at this time, the moratorium for law programmes that has been implemented for almost 15 years is still in effect," she added.