Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Bernama: Senator T Murugiah-Gov't mulls extending doctors' service contract

Gov't mulls extending doctors' service contract
Jan 27, 10 2:41pm
The government proposes to extend the compulsory public service for doctors to five or 10 years from the current three to overcome the annual shortage of doctors in its hospitals, Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department T Murugiah said today.

Last year alone, the country faced a shortage of 5,000 doctors, he added.

"Every year, we face a shortage of doctors because they serve with the government for only five years - two years on housemanship and three years on compulsory service.

"This system has been in use since 1971 and, as such, we should have a new mechanism to resolve the problem," he told reporters after a working visit to the Public Service Commission (PSC) in Putrajaya.

Murugiah said the government's adoption of the proposal would mean that the doctors would be able to garner more experience before they moved on to the private sector or set up their own practice.

"The doctors should not only think about profit. They also have to think about the country's interests -- your contribution to the country," he said.

Murugiah said similar measures could also be applied in other disciplines where there was a shortage of personnel such as dentists and pharmacists.

However, he said, this was up to the Health Ministry, Economic Planning Unit (EPU) and the Public Service Department (PSD) to discuss and decide.

He also said that last year, the government appointed 50,756 civil servants, including candidates for paramedical training, which exceeded the target of 50,000 appointments set by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

A total of 7,785,262 applications were received and 358,366 people were called for interview but only 199,660 turned up for the interviews, he said.

- Bernama

comments from readers:

  • usericon
    by Sam Crow - 4 hours ago
    Make it 15 years compulsory service, with 10 years compulsory service in rural areas.
  • usericon
    by cascara 
    Just as I finished commenting on the torture housemen were going through, I had to read this. The govt feels it hasn't inflicted enough suffering and pain on the doctors. Murugiah, it is not the renumeration they are thinking of but the unbearable working conditions in some cases, bureaucracy and the bullying going on in the bigger hospitals which often makes them want to leave. The govt hospitals are now overflowing with housemen(ask the DG). 25 medical schools in the country and another 5 more to come online soon. That will be about 4000-5000 graduating yearly. You could anticipate a surplus of doctors soon. What we will need is not more doctors but better trained ones. I don't mean torturing housemen and MOs but better designed medical school curricula, better and more teachers and and teaching by consultants and registrars.
  • usericon
    Do they even know why the doctors leave public service? Have they really taken a look at it? Judging by the DG's statements from yesterday, they don't have a clue or are just brazenly ignoring facts. While it is true that money is factor in doctors leaving public service, there are two other big factors too (money is no longer a major factor with the recent wage restructure of government-employed doctors). Firstly, they have to re-look at the working conditions of the doctors. Current working conditions treat new doctors like slaves and there literally is no limit to the number of hours a doctor have to work in a week. Secondly, why stay in a sector where advancement is not by merit but by one's ethnicity and connections/network? Solve these issues and there shall be no need of this negative reinforcement of public service. Humans will naturally stay in an environment which is confortable.
  • usericon
    This is great news that all doctors have been waiting to hear. From now on, all doctors will have to sign their lives away to the Malaysian government for the rest of their lives. Perfect excuse for ALL of them to leave this hair-brained establishment.

    My Comments (DQ):

    If this government continues to act unilaterally, then God help us all. We really do have to act even more drastically. Do these people actually think before they say anything? Will we really be acheivung anything other than to drive Malaysians away from their homeland! What a colossal loss of mind and talent!


pilocarpine said...

the people alliance must really thank this senator.

now, we know where most of our medical drs' and future medical drs' and probably the parents of future medical drs' votes going to go to in the next general election.

dranony said...

On Jan 15th, 2010, the Health Minister Datuk Liow Tiong Lai had said that "No Surplus Of Doctors In Public Sector By 2015."
He further gave figures on number of percentage of filled posts, and the number of doctors entering and leaving the government service each year.

Do the math -
63.7% of 24241 MO posts filled.
ie 36.3% of 24241 MO posts vacant = 8800 MO vacancies
58.5% of 3800 Specialist posts filled.
ie 41.5% of 3800 Specialist posts vacant = 1577 Specialist vacancies.
Total vacancies = 8800 + 1577 = 10377 vacancies.

3000 enter workforce annually, 300-400 leave annually.
(Let's assume average is 350)
Nett gain is 3000-350 = 2650 annually.

Therefore, solely going by these figures which the Minister had provided,
in only four years, the nett gain in doctors to the medical civil service, will be 2650 X 4 = 10600.
Since there are only 10377 vacancies (as of Sept 2009), this nett gain of 10600 doctors over four years, would already have resulted in a surplus in 2014, NOT even 2015!

This is despite the Health Minister's claim that there will be no surplus in 2015.
Perhaps in a way, he is right - the surplus will instead occur in 2014, and NOT 2015.
Or is he basing his conclusion on figures other than that which he had provided himself during that very press conference?

Why then does Senator T Murugiah say that the government is mulling extending doctors' service contract? Did he really consult with anyone from the Health Ministry before saying this?