Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Bernama News: Career Advancement Plan Will Help Retain Doctors In Public Sector

Career Advancement Plan Will Help Retain Doctors In Public Sector
Bernama March 10, 2010 22:13 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, March 10 (Bernama) -- The Malaysian Medical Association (MMA), the country's premier organisation representing doctors, believes that the newly-announced comprehensive career advancement plan for doctors, dentists and pharmacists will help retain the doctors in the public sector.

Its president, Dr David Quek said this was also a vital move to maintain the number of doctors in the public sector, which currently was declining.

"It would certainly encourage more doctors working in the government hospitals and clinics to remain in the service rather than consider venturing out into private practice," he said in a statement here, on Wednesday.

The comprehensive career advancement plan was announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak yesterday.

The initiative, which involved an additional annual expenditure of RM200 million, was aimed at improving career advancement by giving them the opportunity to move up to Grade 54 within two to five years.

Dr Quek said MMA had been working closely with the government to improve the service, training opportunity, salary, allowance and other perks and benefits for the doctors in the public sector.

"Over the past many years, we have, through our Schomos (Section Concerning House Officers, Medical Officers and Specialists), liaised closely with the Health Ministry and the Public Service Department to improve the conditions of service.

"We are therefore very delighted that most of our requests have now been answered, and that so many doctors would now benefit from such upgrading service," he said.

Meanwhile, Malaysian Dental Association (MDA) president Dr Lee Soon Boon also agreed that the plan would stop the exodus of dentists from the public to the private sector.

Besides, he said, the initiative was also deemed appropriate due to the current situation where most doctors were also entrusted with heavier responsibilities.

At present, he said there were 3,606 dentists in the country, 53 per cent of whom were in the government service, while the rest were in the private sector.

Malaysian Pharmaceutical Society president Datuk Nancy Ho, on the other hand, said that the initiative clearly showed that the prime minister was serious in promoting the 1Malaysia concept.

"We appreciate the recognition from the government to pharmacists for doing a professional job. This also shows that they are concerned about the people and the professionals," she explained.

She also believed that the initiative would encourage pharmacists nationwide to discharge their duties to the best of their ability.

Meanwhile, Cuepacs president, Omar Osman said Cuepacs lauded the career advancement plan for the medical and education sector, but believed that the government should consider similar initiative for other sectors too, especially for workers of lower grade and those in the rural areas.

"Attention should also be given to those working in the rural areas because they are closer to the people," he said.


MMA Statement on Promotion Exercises for Doctors (10 March 2010)

The MMA welcomes the announcement of YAB Dato' Sri Prime Minister, which has made the remuneration scheme for doctors in government service that much more attractive.

The quicker approach to promotion to higher grades of service and salaries is certainly welcomed, and would certainly help encourage more doctors working in government hospitals and clinics to remain in service rather than consider venturing out into the private practice. This will be one important move to help retain doctors who are quite in short supply at the current moment in public health sector.

The MMA has always been working with the government to improve service conditions, training opportunities, remuneration and allowances, and perks for public service doctors.

Over the past many years we have through our SCHOMOS (Section Concerning House Officers, Medical Officers, and Specialists) liaised closely with the MOH, through its Director General Tan Sri Dr Ismail Merican and the JPA to improve these conditions of service.

We are therefore very delighted that most of our requests have now been answered, and that so many doctors would now benefit from such an upgrading exercise. In fact just by the end of last year, more than 6000 doctors also received automatic promotion of their service grades as promised earlier by the Ministry, i.e. from U41 to U44.

We hope that with these new perks, more doctors would remain in service and work harder and more conscientiously, to help provide better and more caring service to the rakyat. In view of various concerns brought up of late, we also hope that these perks would help encourage greater commitment to excellent services to help reduce waiting times and certainly improve quality of care for all.

We also take this opportunity to congratulate Tan Sri Dr Ismail Merican for his reappointment as DG of the MOH for another term. We have worked very closely with Tan Sri and know his passion for quality care and service, as well as his continuous efforts to help upgrade doctors' welfare and perks in the public health sector. We also thank the Minister of Health and the JPA for supporting these new initiatives at enhancing service conditions for the doctors.

Although we sometimes differ in approach, we believe that through better dialogue we can make our health services even stronger towards greater excellence.

We of course urge the MOH to now also consider more seriously, efforts to improve the lot of private doctors too, who have faced mounting challenges of late.

Just early this week, we receive official notices from the MOH to invite private doctors to register with the MOH to serve also in the many Klinik Kesihatan (health clinics) around the country. We are in the midst of sending this out to all our branches nationwide, and urge all our private doctors who would like to contribute to helping out in these clinics to quickly respond to this gesture of collaboration. The offer of RM 80 per hour for such services would be most appropriate and would stimulate interest for many of our doctors.

We are especially thankful for the DG and the Minister with whom we had discussed these issues of greater partnership earlier in a dialogue in January 2010. We will work in greater collaboration and dedication to ensure that private doctors continue to improve their service status, medical professionalism and standards of care, as we march on in this new environment of partnership.

Dr David Quek
President, MMA

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