Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Dr Haji Mohamed Ismail Merican



Former Director General of Health

Tan Sri Dato Seri Dr Haji Mohamed Ismail Merican is a consultant hepatologist and internal medicine specialist at Prince Court Medical Centre, KL and the current Pro-Chancellor & Chairman of the Board of Governors, MAHSA University, Malaysia. From 2005-2011, Tan Sri Ismail Merican served as the Director-General of Health, Malaysia and the president of the Malaysian Medical Council (MMC), whilst to have served to Ministry of Health for 35 years before retiring back in 2011. During his time as the DG of health, he was referred to as a “passionate clinician and workaholic”- read more about the interview here: https://www.thestar.com.my/lifestyle/health/2011/03/20/leaving-a-legacy/

Penang-born Tan Sri Ismail Merican graduated from the University of Malaya, then went on to pursue his postgraduate education in Internal Medicine in 1980 at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School at the Hammersmith Hospital in London.  In 1990, he was awarded the Commonwealth Fellowship Award and returned to London for training in Hepatology at the Royal Free Hospital. He is the founder and the current President of the Malaysian Liver Foundation. He has been conferred many academic, civil and honorary awards, including the distinguished award of Tan Sri and was bestowed the ‘Most Outstanding Fellow of the Year’ by the Japanese Council for Medical Training in 1987.

His expertise in liver disease is widely acknowledged and his guidance frequently sought after by various international organisations such as the World Health Organisation, United National Development Programme and the World Bank. He is deeply committed to undertaking research work on liver disease, which is his area of interest and has numerous publications in local, regional and international peer-reviewed journals to date- Read about his article on hepatitis here: https://www.nst.com.my/opinion/letters/2017/11/302954/we-cant-fight-hepatitis-alone

Back in 2008 when he was the DG of health, Tan Sri Ismail Merican has been awarded the prestigious Honorary Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) in 2008 and was praised by the college of his ability to inspire medical graduates to “look beyond merely contributing in their chosen field but also to consider how this can impact positively on society as a whole.” He is the one who started the network between clinical research centres and establishing them in every government hospital, the first national committee for clinical research initiating conversation between the pharmaceutical industry, universities and researches, and focused more on the promotion prospects of doctors and specialists.

Tan Sri Ismail Merican is currently retired from the Ministry of Health, but still remains active through writing to newspapers, speaking at conferences and podcasts at BFM- do have a read, have a listen to what our Former DG of Health has to say about our current healthcare system.