Materia Medica Malaysiana

August 15, 2007

Trend reversal: 200 doctors return home

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 10:16 am

NST: KUALA LUMPUR: More than 200 Malaysians who studied medicine and practised abroad had returned to serve since 2005.
Some of these practitioners, who held government scholarships, have been working up to 20 years abroad.
Overseas Umno Club chairman Datuk Shafie Apdal said the country was facing a shortage of medical specialists.
“It was through visits and dialogue sessions initiated by the club that we were able to convince some about the opportunities here, especially since the government has built many hospitals equipped with modern facilities.
“Some are reluctant to come home because of concerns about promotion prospects and work-culture differences. They also worry about political instability, local facilities and training here.”
Shafie, who is domestic trade and consumer affairs minister, said this after officiating the United Kingdom and Ireland Pre-Departure Briefing 2007 yesterday.
The briefing was held for 170 students who will pursue various courses in the two countries and six students who will leave for Cairo next month.
“We have a need for experts in various fields and that is why I stress the importance of preparing for future challenges.”
To encourage their “growth”, starting this year, medical students abroad are sent to rural areas in Malaysia during their semester breaks to conduct free medical check-ups and organise gotong-royong activities.
“These activities are meant to encourage and involve students in society. More importantly, we want them not to only excel in their studies but also create a sense of desire to return and serve the nation.”
Earlier, Shafie advised the students to focus on their studies and ignore the postings about the country in blogs.
“Those who want to excel in their studies should be reading books and not blogs.”
This is the first year the club, Higher Education Ministry and Tourism Ministry are working together to organise the pre-departure briefing.

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