PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Medical Council (MMC) is reviewing the accreditation of all foreign medical schools with a view to reducing the number of such recognised overseas institutions. Director-General of Health Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, who is also MMC chairman, said the council is not recognising more foreign medical schools. “We are cutting the number of recognised universities abroad,” he said when asked to comment on theSun’s page one report today highlighting the plight of medical graduates from a Cuban scholarship programme whose degrees have not been recognised. “Many universities, including from Australia, have applied for recognition but we are not considering at the moment,” he told theSun today. According to the MMC website, aside from 29 Malaysian medical schools which are accredited, MMC has recognised medical degrees from 375 overseas medical schools in 34 countries, including Myanmar, Czech Republic, Sri Lanka, Iraq, Russia and Ukraine. While he declined comment as to why MMC had yet to respond to Cuba’s application for recognition for its medical programmes since 2007, Noor Hisham said medical graduates from Cuba will have to sit for the Medical Qualifying Examination (MQE). Four students from the first batch of Malaysians sent there in 2007 under a Cuban scholarship programme who returned here on Sept 4, have been told to enrol for a six-month course which costs RM25,000 in a local universities, prior to sitting for the MQE. However, there is no guarantee that the local universities will accept these students for the programme, without which they cannot sit for MQE. Meanwhile, Health Minister Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam said the ministry has also frozen all new applications to set up private medical colleges in the country as there are many recognised medical colleges for Malaysians. An MMC source said it had stopped accepting new applications for medical universities since the beginning of 2013. As to the recognition of Cuban medical degrees in Malaysia, Subramaniam said if there is an update, the ministry would notify the Cuban embassy.