Monday, 8 February 2010


PETALING JAYA (Feb 7, 2010): Newly-graduated doctors may soon need to serve the government for only four instead of five years now.

At present, they must serve two years housemanship and three years compulsory government service.

Health minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said the government was considering reducing the period of compulsory service to two years.

He refuted claims that the ministry had planned to double the period of compulsory service to 10 years. "The suggestion is not practical at all.

We must make it attractive for doctors to join the service. We cannot force them to work," he said.

Liow said by reducing the term of compulsory service, young doctors will feel they are not tied down, and may want to stay on, adding that the ministry will monitor if the change causes any shortage in doctors.

"We have 300 to 400 doctors leaving us every year. However, we are confident that it won't leave us with a reduction in doctors as we have an increase in new housemen, from 700 in 2007, to 3,000 last year," he said.

Liow also said that housemen can from now on be assured they would get ample rest as the ministry had taken note of their complaints of being overworked.

"I made a ruling that all housemen on-call through the night are to work until noon the following day to hand over the job to other doctors, giving them ample time to rest and study," said Liow.

A circular to this effect which was sent to all government hospitals last month, stipulates that new housemen would undergo a two-week tagging period with a senior houseman or medical officer, from 7.30am to 10pm daily for six days a week, with a day off.

"If a houseman has been on call through the night, he or she can only work until noon the next day. After that they have to be given a break so they can rest," he said.

"Housemen can no longer work for 48 hours without a break. It has been made clear to all hospitals," he said.

Meanwhile, Liow said returning specialists would be exempted from compulsory service if they met certain criteria.

"They must be more than 40 years old, and offering a specialty we need," he said after launching B-Nes Sdn Bhd, a company processing birds nest products.

Liow said measures were being taken to alleviate a shortage of specialists in government hospitals. "We have only 2,500 specialists in all fields. We are working hard to produce more specialists and sub-specialists," he said, adding that the ministry had also recruited traditional and complementary medicine specialists, some from China, to lighten the workload at government hospitals.

He also said that under the Asean Free Trade Area (Afta) 2010 agreement, Malaysia would open its doors to foreign doctors.

"They must partner with a local doctor, and the maximum share that a foreign doctor can hold is 70%," he said, adding that before Afta, foreign doctors were allowed to have 50% stake.


Hmmmm....boleh balik after lunch...and they said the circular was given last month. How come no one knew a thing about it?


azri fickry said...

aku tau.aku dgr2 pm off tu atas budi bicara HOD.tu yg sedih tu..boss selektif seh nk implement ruling kan.

syameen afira said...

hmm..nobody said a thing in alor setar

Anonymous said...

tipu de off noonn..arghhhh!! tensiiii

wan syamir said...

ooouhh....dok umah still plg best