Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Shorter compulsory public service period for docs mulled

PETALING JAYA: The Government is mulling over whether to reduce the compulsory public service period for doctors to two years.

Currently, medical graduates are required to do two years of housemanship and three years of compulsory public service.

Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Ismail Merican said yesterday that the ministry was looking into it and would announce a decision as soon as possible.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai had earlier yesterday refuted suggestions that the Government would extend the compulsory public service to 10 years.

“It is not true. We are not going to extend it to 10 years.

“We are looking to cut it short,” he said in a press conference after launching B-Nes Sdn Bhd.

Earlier this month, Minister in Prime Minister’s department Senator Datuk T. Murugiah suggested that doctors’ compulsory public service be extended to up to 10 years to ease the shortage of doctors in the country.

Liow said that the reduced service time would make it more attractive for doctors to continue working for the Government.

He said that there were about 300 to 400 doctors leaving the country every year while the number of trainee doctors had increased to 3,000 from 700 in 2001.

“If you force them to work, they will tend to leave.

“You must create attractiveness and better incentives,” Liow said, adding that if the ruling was implemented, it would take effect for the new batch of medical graduates as the current batch have a fixed learning schedule.

When asked if this would apply to doctors working abroad, he replied that specialists and doctors above the age of 40, do not need to serve the compulsory service.

Meanwhile, Liow said that Malaysian doctors would not be effected by the implementation of the Asian Free Trade Area (Afta) agreement this year as they are able to compete with foreign doctors.

He also said that there would not be an oversupply of doctors because of the liberalisation.

source: The Star newspaper dated Monday February 8, 2010

Comment : I will like to express my happiness over this issue....but like i've said before "It is easier said than done"...hopefully the govt will implement this matter as soon as possible because this thing will benefit malaysians particularly students who intend to further their studies in medical field.

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