• Petitioned High Commission of Malaysia Canberra, Australia.

This petition was delivered to:

High Commission of Malaysia Canberra, Australia.

Advocate internship for Malaysian medical students studying in Australia

    1. Mohamed Ehsan Ebrahim
    2. Petition by

      Mohamed Ehsan Ebrahim

      Newcastle, Australia

Majority of the Malaysian medical students who are studying in Australia are on scholarships. They are funded by the Malaysian Public Service Department (PSD), Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA), a trust fund and other peak government listed companies which belong to the Malaysian citizens. There are also self-financed students.

It costs the Malaysian tax payers money about $AUD300,000 and more to fund JUST ONE medical student studying in Australia. Despite spending that amount of money, the Australian government is unable to provide internship training for the Malaysian medical students to be qualified registered medical officer (RMO).

The NSW Health Minister, Jillian Skinner, suggested in the Sydney Morning Herald on the 22nd October 2012 that ‘International medical student colleagues ought to pay for the privilege of working as interns in NSW hospitals’. A person of her calibre and position should be cautious of her actions and statement as it undervalues the hard work of all junior doctors.
Her statement was unacceptable and undermines the internship position. Medical interns regularly work 16-hour overnight shifts on most days, navigating cannulas through frail, elderly skin into torturous, collapsing veins. These interns also assess agitated patients in the emergency department on weekends. In their surgical rotation, interns have to arrive pre-dawn in readiness for the surgeon's 7am ward round apart from the discharge summary that they are obliged to complete. Internship is not a privilege to be sold as Ms Skinner claims.
In Malaysia, nearly 40% of the medical graduates working in Malaysia are trained overseas. If pre-vocational training is not given to the Malaysian medical students studying in Australia, many of them will resort in seeking internship training in Malaysia. The problem with this is that in the next two years, the Malaysian health ministry will also develop a problem allocating overseas Malaysian medical graduates for internship position in Malaysian. This is mainly due to the growing numbers of local Malaysian medical graduates which will create a unwanted competition between local and international medical graduates for pre-vocational training .

Therefore in the years to come, if the Australian federal and state government do not collaborate to provide the Malaysian medical student's internship training to ensure they are qualified doctors, their degree would be worthless. Meaning that the Malaysian medical students who graduate with a medical degree will not be able to practise as doctors once they graduate. This is devastating for those students who have worked hard for 5-7 years to obtain their medical degree.

Solely for reasons above, it would be futile and a waste of the Malaysian tax payers money to fund those students studying in Australia because they would not be able to contribute to the wider Malaysian community.

In conclusion, we strongly urge the Malaysian government to spend the Malaysian tax payers money funding medical students in countries that has made it a condition for their government to allocate internship places for the international medical students without discriminating against them and treating them differently from locals for the benefit of the wider community.

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 250 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Muhammad rahimi Abdul razak SOUTHAMPTON, UNITED KINGDOM
      • over 1 year ago

      Support the malysians medical students in Australia for their better future

    • Kar Mun Loo AUSTRALIA
      • over 1 year ago

      The importance of have the opportunity to be involved in serving the community in Australia since a large sum of money have been invested by medical students to study in Australia

    • amanda khoo SUBANG JAYA, MALAYSIA
      • over 1 year ago

      Because i will be directly affected by this change as i will be graduating from UQ with my MBBS degree end of next year and will be joining the work force in year 2014. I really appreciate all the efforts of this petition.

      • over 1 year ago

      The Australian goverment has an obligation to provide what is needed as these students are one of the main reason their economy remain strong.

    • Muhammad Aizat Md Hawari SUBANG JAYA, MALAYSIA
      • over 1 year ago

      I found it to be quite unsettling to hear more and more exploitations are imposed to our students studying at international universities world wide, namely Australia. Australia has always been one of the closest ally to us in education and research collaboration. Its is saddening to hear that they are taking advantages of our students just because they are fully funded! this also happens everywhere! In UK too, (i was a UK graduate, i remember paying too much self-fundedly with no absolute privilege and thats not so very nice!) Frankly, I think if Australian government will not be taking any actions regarding this issues, it might be worthwhile to re-evaluate our policy for sending students to Australia. As citizen of Malaysia, I feel deeply obliged to support this petition. We stand as a proud and advanced nation in this region and the world.


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