Govt to sponsor 200 Sarawakian medical students over 5 years

Govt to sponsor 200 Sarawakian medical students over 5 years

KUCHING: The state government will sponsor at least 200 Sarawakians to pursue medical studies in Unimas over the next five years.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said the state government took the move following its own analysis and ambition to provide quality medical service to the people.

He noted that the doctor to population ratio in Sarawak and the country now is 1:800 and 1:600 respectively, while the target is for the country to achieve a ratio of 1:400 by 2020.

“So there is a big gap and therefore, the state government has decided to give more scholarships to our students who are eligible to pursue medical studies.

“I think it is quite a history that the state government is giving 40 scholarships to one group of students from Sarawak today,” he said at the presentation ceremony of the state government’s scholarship to Unimas medical students.

The Chief Minister said the 40 scholarships were worth RM4 million a year and the state government would continue to give the same number of scholarships each year to eligible students from Sarawak to pursue their medical studies in Unimas.

“Throughout another four years until my term expires in 2021, if it goes on, I hope I can produce more than 100 Sarawakian doctors,” he said.

“To the current batch of 40 students, I hope all of you will be diligent, study hard and produce the 40 doctors for us five years from now,” he said.

Abang Johari added that the state government was serious in trying to give the right training to Sarawakian students to be doctors.

“I and my colleagues in the government, we are giving emphasis on medical studies and we hope you will become specialists in your own right of subject discipline in medical studies and of course, we hope you will give back your service to your people,” he said.

The Chief Minister said the state government was also upgrading other services as it strives to give quality services to the people by giving new courses to students who can play a part in the state’s transformation programme.

With the state now focusing on digital economy, even medical practitioners were already using new tools such as analytical data to diagnose sicknesses and diseases, he noted.

“All the doctors can do now is for them to retrieve information from the main data, diagnose whatever sickness or disease that the person is having and get the right way on how to solve the medical problem.

“They are using new method. In fact, previously before one can go for further studies, they have to undergo medical test such as X-ray. But nowadays we use magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Meaning technology has taken over the old traditional method.

“I’m sure when you study your medicine in Unimas, you have to know new methods, analysing whatever sickness using new technology,” he said.

Among those present at the ceremony were Law, State-Federal Relations and Project Monitoring Assistant Minister Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali, State Legislative Assembly Deputy Speaker Dato Gerawat Gala, Assistant Minister of Local Government Datu Dr Penguang Manggil, State Secretary Tan Sri Mohammad Morshidi Abdul Ghani, Yayasan Sarawak director Azmi Bujang and Unimas vice chancellor Professor Datuk Dr Mohamad Kadim Suaidi.

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