Better incentives and benefits have been introduced to provide better service schemes and remuneration to doctors in the government’s effort to stop brain drain in the Ministry of Health (MOH). However, it still need to be review considering some allowances were not review for more than 20 years.
The revised incentives and benefits must also covered other medical fraternities such as dental and public health.
In addition, a large number of house officers from MOH were not ready and did not have the capability to provide adequate service when posted to district hospitals or undergoing district postings on completion of their housemanship training. As such, MOH must also look into provide better training and induction courses to its medical officers before their actual posting.
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Stopping brain drain in Health Ministry
KUCHING: Better incentives and benefits have been introduced to provide better service schemes and remuneration to doctors in the government’s effort to stop brain drain in the Ministry of Health (MOH).
One of these is the specialists’ allowance which is to be reviewed, after the last review done about 20 years ago, so that they would continue to serve in the government, Health Minister Datuk Liow Tiong Lai.
“It is proposed that this review should also involve other related disciplines including dental and public health,” he said at the 48th Annual General Meeting and Scientific Meeting of the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) Banquet at Santubong near here Friday night.
The Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Datuk Patinggi Abang Muhammad Salahuddin and his wife Toh Puan Datuk Patinggi Norkiah were the guests of honour at the banquet.
Liow said an average of 300 medical officers and 50 specialists resign from the MOH and it was found that the majority resigned at grade UD41, UD44 and UD48.
“Perceived to be unsatisfactory remuneration, heavy workload and dissatisfaction with the working environment are examples that have been cited as the reasons for the brain drain,” he said.
Besides, he said, the ministry was concerned that a large number of its house officers were not ready and did not have the capability to provide adequate service when posted to district hospitals or undergoing district postings on completion of their housemanship training.
“In addition, there have been instances of sub-optimal or sub-standard patient care,” he added.
To overcome this, the Malaysian Medical Council (MMC) had agreed to extend the duration of housemanship training to two years starting January this year.
“I know the medical community is unhappy with this decision but the reason is to ensure that the doctors produced will be of high standard and are able to function anywhere they are posted,” he said.
He assured that the two-year extension would not affect the entry of those eligible into the masters programme, adding that MOH would be working with the Public Services Department towards creating a better scheme of service for the junior doctors as one way of attracting more doctors to join the service.
“A house officer who has successfully completed two years of training and undergone the mandatory induction course and related requirement will in future be eligible for promotion to UD44 in the third year of his career,” he said.
He said the welfare of the present UD41 medical officers appointed before 2008 would also not be forgotten.