Gov't mulls extending doctors' service contract
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.
comments from readers:
- by Sam Crow - 4 hours ago
Make it 15 years compulsory service, with 10 years compulsory service in rural areas.
- 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.
- by Jeffrey Yew
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.