The Academy of Medicine, Singapore was established in 1957 and during that era, it had catered for both Malaya and Singapore. Following the separation of the two countries, the independent Academy of Medicine of Malaysia was founded in 1966. Historically, the first few Public Health Medicine Specialists who were accepted as members of Academy of Medicine of
Malaysia were Dato’ Dr Ezaddin Mohamed (1971) and Dr Datta-Sarma (1974). There was a rather slow movement of public health medicine specialty within the Academy of Medicine then. Only eight public health specialists were accepted as members of the Academy of Medicine during the period of 1974 to 1990.
The Academy of Medicine of Malaysia had approved the formation of a specialty chapter in 1992 based on the unified postgraduate body. With the pivotal objective of making the role of public health medicine field more significant within the Academy, Dr Lekraj Rampal (second cohort of public health medicine specialists accepted as members of the Academy) was requested by Tan Sri Dr Abu Bakar Suleiman, Master of Academy, to encourage public health medicine specialists to join the Academy and form a Chapter. This led to the significant increase in the number of membership of Public Health Medicine Specialists in the Academy. On 16th December 1995, the inauguration of the formation of Chapters in the Academy which included the College of Physicians and College of Surgeons took place. By 1996, there were 32 Public Health Medicine Specialists accepted and registered as members of Academy of Medicine of Malaysia. The Chapter of Public Health Medicine was established in 1996 and the first President was Datuk Dr Megat Burhainuddin bin Abdul Rahman. The establishment of the Public Health Chapter took on a new paradigm in the development of Public Health Medicine field and became part of a landmark milestone in the evolution of Public Health Medicine Specialty. This group, together with the Public Health Society, Malaysian Medical Association built the strong foundation for the establishment of Public Health Medicine Specialists in Malaysia. This, then led to a further escalation in numbers of registered members under the Chapter of Public Health, Academy of Medicine of Malaysia.
Public Health Medicine Specialists began to be recognised by the Ministry of Health in the year 2000 via the establishment of the public health medicine specialist gazettement. The gazettement process was similar to the clinical specialist gazettement as per the stipulated requirements under the General Order of the Government of Malaysia. In 2001, the Chapter of Public Health was upgraded and called College of Public Health Medicine, Academy of Medicine of Malaysia.
The College of Public Health Medicine has blossomed tremendously over the last few decades and has become one of the most outstanding Colleges within the Academy of Medicine of Malaysia under the leadership of six Presidents namely, Datuk Dr Megat
Burhainuddin bin Abdul Rahman (2001-2002, 2006-2008) Tan Sri Datu Mohd Taha Arif (2002-2005), Dato’ Dr Ramlee bin Rahman (2005-2006, 2008-2009), Professor Dr Lekraj Rampal (2009-2014) and Datuk Dr Lokman Hakim bin Sulaiman (2014 – present) who is the current President. With the industrious efforts of a line-up of dedicated Executive Committee and Committee Members, several collaborative activities with Ministry of Health, local universities and the military arm have been organised. This collaboration has resulted in further enhancing the Public Health Medicine Specialists services delivered to the community. Amongst the main international programmes and activities organised by the College were 1st Asia Pacific Conference on Public Health with the theme “New Initiatives in Public Health” in 2004, 2nd Asia Pacific Conference on Public Health (Theme: “Emerging Treat in Public Health in 2007”), 1st Asia Pacific Conference on Health Policy and Planning in Era of Emerging Technology and Cancer in 2008, 3rd Asia Pacific Conference on Public Health (Theme: Translating Evidence into Public Health Action in 2011) and the latest was the the 4th Asia Pacific Conference on Public Health in 2015 (Theme: “Fostering Innovation in Tackling Double Burden of Diseases”). With the strong collaboration of College of Public Health Medicine and Public Health Programme, Ministry of Health, the Public Health Medicine Specialist was recognised as one of Medical Specialties by the Government of Malaysia in 2011. The College of Public Health Medicine has played a pivotal role in establishing Public Health Medicine Specialist Sub-Committee for National Specialist Register (NSR).
As the way forward, the priorities of the College of Public Health Medicine aim to focus on the area of capacity building, training, research, international collaboration and development of Public Health Physicians through enhanced collaboration with the Ministry of Health, Universities, Local Authorities, and other agencies. The College also plans to widen the horizons of collaboration with other Academies of Medicine and international organisations in order to strengthen the Public Health Medicine Specialists by developing the sub-specialty programmes, as well as competency standards required by both Public Health Medicine Specialists and its corresponding subspecialty.
President of Public Health Chapter
|Datuk Dr Megat Burhainuddin bin Abdul Rahman (1996-2001)|
President of College of Public Health Medicine
|Datuk Dr Megat Burhainuddin bin Abdul Rahman (2001-2002, 2006-2008)|
|Tan Sri Datu Professor Dr Mohamad Taha Arif (2001-2005)|
|Dato’ Dr Ramlee bin Rahman (2005-2006, 2008-2009)|
|Professor Dr Lekhraj Rampal (2009-2014)|
|Datuk Dr Lokman Hakim bin Sulaiman (2014-present)|
(The information was compiled by Dr Ismuni Bohari, Professor Dr Lekraj Rampal and Dr Juliana Paul for the 50th Golden Jubilee Celebration of the Academy of Medicine Malaysia (1966-2016) commemorative book)