Materia Medica Malaysiana

July 30, 2008

Ruling ‘will not solve shortage of doctors’

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 9:50 am

Star: PETALING JAYA: Discarding the mandatory three-year service in government hospitals for doctors serving abroad who want to return will not address the shortage in the public sector, said the Malaysian Medical Association.
Its president Datuk Dr Khoo Kah Lin said it would only create an imbalance between the public and private medical sectors.
“It will only open the gate for them to practise in the private sector, causing more imbalance,” he said in a statement on Monday.
“While we agree that the country needs more doctors in government service, there is much dissatisfaction in the sector, causing some 300 to 400 doctors resigning every year to practise privately.”
Dr Khoo added it would also be unfair to local graduates who need to complete three years of compulsory service and two years of housemanship.
Health Minister Datuk Liow Tiong Lai recently announced that specialists who have practised overseas for more than 10 years would be exempted from serving three years in government hospitals when they return.
The ruling applied to doctors aged 45 years and above, he said.
Dr Khoo said the reasons for the high rate of resignation included heavy workload, poor working conditions and low remuneration.
“The MMA would propose for these aspects to be improved, including creating more promotional posts, hastening the promotion process and revision of on-call allowance, specialist allowance and hardship allowance for doctors in rural areas,” he added.

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