Materia Medica Malaysiana

May 29, 2004


Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 7:03 am

Intake of medical students into IPTAs need to be studied

PENANG May 28 – Every year, about 300 doctors who have completed their housemanship resign from public service because they find themselves not cut out for a medical career, Deputy Health Minister Datuk Dr Abdul Latiff Ahmad said Friday.

He said students’ interest, comprehension and exposure to the duties of a doctor should be considered before they are allowed to pursue medical courses at public institutions of higher learning to prevent them from making wrong career choices.

“This profession differs from others because it is based on skill and the ability to combine both the arts and sciences,” he told reporters after opening the sixth Malaysian Islamic Medical Association’s (PPIM) scientific meeting here.

Therefore, Dr Abdul Latiff said, public universities should re-examine the method of student selection into medical courses because not all students with excellent academic results would make dedicated doctors.

He said another factor encouraging doctors to leave the public service was the salary, which was much lower than that paid by the private sector.

However, he said, the trend was getting less popular because the quality of the public service had improved and private practices no longer promised the high returns it once did a decade ago.

“There are also those (doctors) who resign from the public sector because of the difficulty in getting promotion. Consequently, the government has suggested setting up a Medical Services Commission so that the promotion process for doctors in the public service differs from other civil servants’,” he said.

He said the government needed to prepare a long term plan to encourage doctors and specialists to continue serving in the public sector by providing them various facilities.

For the long run, he said, the government must set up many more medical faculties, including in public institutions for higher learning which previously did not offer medical courses, to cater for a ratio of one doctor to every 800 patients (1:800) by the year 2020. The current ratio is 1:1,400.

Dr Abdul Latiff said the number of Malay doctors had also increased and according to the year 2002 statistics, there were now 5,346 Malay doctors or 40 percent compared to 4,151 Chinese doctors or 31 percent and 3,546 Indian doctors or 29 percent.

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