YANGON — Myanmar has received proposals from foreign countries to open private medical and nursing universities in the country, Union Minister for Health and Sports Dr. Myint Htwe told the Upper House on Monday.
“We are planning to open private medical and nursing universities. Many (founders of medical schools) have come and spoken with us. We are ready. But there is still no related educational law. We can open them after the law is enacted,” said Dr. Myint Htwe.
India and Korea have made proposals, said the Union minister, adding that nursing assistants have good job prospects not only in Myanmar but also in foreign countries.
“The nurse-patient ratio is poor in hospitals. And the number of nurses who have resigned from public hospitals to work in private hospitals has also increased. So, it is a good idea to open such schools,” lawmaker Daw Phyu Phyu Thin of the Lower House Health and Sports Development Committee told The Irrawaddy.
“Such schools will also create job opportunities for locals,” she added.
Dr. Myint Htwe revealed the plan in response to the question of lawmaker Dr. U Kywe Kywe, which urged the ministry to abolish the 50-50 quota system for male and female enrollees in public medical universities.
The lawmaker asked the ministry to admit students according to their marks on the matriculation examination, saying that the current system is unfair for female students, who have generally tested better than their male counterparts on the exam in the past.
The Union minister said his ministry has no plan to change the system for the time being, because it is not convenient for female doctors to work in remote areas.
According to the minister, more than 60 percent of doctors working at public hospitals in Kachin, Karen, Chin, Rakhine, and northern Shan states are male doctors.
In order to improve the ratio of nurses at public hospitals, the health ministry, since 2015, appoints nursing graduates as civil servants on graduation day.
The ministry will recruit some 2,000 doctors and up to 3,600 nurses this year for public hospitals across the country as part of its annual recruitment. Previously, the ministry recruited around 1,800 nurses on average, the minister said during the peace talks of State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi with locals in Pakokku in August.
Myanmar has more than 1,100 public hospitals ranging from 16-bed to 2,000-bed hospitals, according to the Ministry of Health and Sports.
Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko.