In September last year, we introduced a brand new programme, the Bachelor of Medical and Health Sciences (BMHS), in collaboration with the Malaysian Medical Assistant Board (MAB).

The introduction of this programme is in support of the blueprint for assistant medical officers (AMOs) known as the 2016-2030 Assistant Medical Officer Profession Development Plan (6P). The blueprint was introduced by the MAB to widen AMOs’ access to quality education by adopting lifelong learning approaches at a competitive cost.

OUM is the first university to offer this programme using the blended learning mode, which enables learners to continue working while pursuing part-time studies.

BMHS programme director, Mispan Mangon, is confident the programme will produce AMOs with sound knowledge in medical and health sciences. “They will have skills that are relevant for today’s healthcare services,” he says.

The programme, he explains, provides in-depth knowledge in medical and health sciences as well as skills that are highly transferable across all areas of healthcare services.

More specifically, learners will develop a solid theoretical and practical foundation in surgical and medical areas, orthopaedic care, prehospital emergency care, occupational safety and health, trauma and emergency care, primary healthcare, geriatric rehabilitation and palliative care.

According to Mispan, the core subject courses and broad range of research and management courses will be valuable not only for AMOs but also other healthcare managers, supervisors, educators and practitioners.

Eligible learners can apply for credit transfer which will allow them to complete the programme in just three years. This arrangement will benefit AMOs who have enough work experience or have already obtained a diploma in medical and health sciences.

As part of OUM’s efforts in quality assurance, Mispan is responsible for ensuring compliance with the Malaysian Qualifications Agency’s Code of Practice for Programme Accreditation as well as the MAB’s Standards and Guidelines for Medical Assistant Education programmes.

The University has hired experienced academics to ensure an enriching learning experience. “We have 20 part-time tutors who began teaching at six learning centres – in Petaling Jaya, Alor Setar, Melaka, Kota Bharu, Kota Kinabalu and Kuching – in January this year. Some of them have more than 20 years of experience,” says Mispan.

All the tutors possess at least a master’s degree and some are specialist medical officers and lecturers at other higher education institutions.

With full support from the MAB education committee, which is under the purview of the Ministry of Health, the BMHS programme is a great option for AMOs and other healthcare practitioners who want to boost their careers and contribute to a quality workforce in healthcare services in Malaysia.

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