Exorbitant fees for medical studies
Are the fees imposed by private colleges for a medical degree justified; or are they riding on a false perception on the supply and demand of doctors in Malaysia?
PETALING JAYA: A whopping RM300,000, which is equivalent to the price of a terrace house in the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, is the minimum amount required by a student to pursue a recognised medical degree in Malaysia today.
Such a high tuition fee in turn evolves into a reason why specialist doctors in private hospitals charge exorbitant fees to even touch their patients.
Let us take a quick peek into the medical programmes offered here as the first step.
A survey by FMT reveals that private colleges in the country are charging between RM250,000 to RM1 million to study medicine.
Following are some colleges offering degree in medicine and the tuition fee they charge currently:
- Quest International University Perak (QUIP): RM249,000
- University Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR): RM255,000
- AIMST University: RM250,000
- University Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) has two different options: UniKL Degree: RM280,000, Twinning with Vinayaka Missions University, India: RM300,000
- UCSI University: RM320,000
- Taylor’s University: RM353,000
- International Medical University (IMU): RM410,000
- Management and Science University (MSU): RM295,000
- Perdana University offers the following: Royal College of Surgeons Ireland: RM800,000, John Hopkins University Schools of Medicine: RM1,000,000
- SEGi University: RM300,000
- Asia Metropolitan University (AMU): RM300,000
- Monash University Sunway: RM455,000
- Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia (NuMED): RM450,000
- MAHSA University College: RM300,000
- Allianze University College of Medical Science (AUCMS) has multiple options: In-house: RM279,000, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Programme: RM338,000, Universitas Sumatera Utara: RM267,000, National University of Ireland, Galway: RM578,000, University College Cork: RM578,000
- Cyberjaya University College of Medical Sciences (CUCMS): RM275,000
- Lincoln University College (LUC): RM324,000
- University College Shahputra (UCSA): RM240,000
- Malacca Manipal Medical College (MMMC): RM348,000
- Penang Medical College: RM650,000
It is indeed atrocious to see such high fees in private colleges. Why does the same programme that cost RM150,000 in Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) is being offered at RM338,000 in AUCMS?
While this raises questions in the minds of people, the Health Ministry has kept its silence and ignorance over the matter for far too long.
Are they not aware of such practices?
Another interesting fact here is that Perdana University which was established in 2011 does not have their local medical programme. Nevertheless they offer two overseas medical programmes with full government scholarships. They are merely acting as a mediator indeed.
In the past decade we have witnessed a significant mushrooming of private colleges offering medical degree course, and fees have inflated steadily with not much explanations forthcoming.
Is there justification for such bloated fees which will eventually have repercussions along the chain right down to the patients?
There seem to be a vicious cycle being ridden on by private concerns in the academic sector within the health industry for their own coffers. The issue of demand and supply from various facets for medical doctors need to be dissected carefully.
There seem to be a crater of distortion in the health industry in Malaysia and the general public is being punished.
In the next issue we shall analyse the demand and supply factors dictating the direction of doctors, colleges and health ministry.