I quote from The Malaysian Insider's article - Move to extend compulsory government service for doctors, T Murugiah said :
" The government proposes to extend the compulsory public service for doctors to five or 10 years from the current three to overcome the annual shortage of doctors in its hospitals. The doctors should not only think about profit. They also have to think about the country’s interests — your contribution to the country. "
That surprised me and I don't know whether it was his idea or it was a result of his advisors' brainstorming session.
Whatever it is, ask all Malaysian medical students if it is a good idea. If there are punters taking bets on this, I place my money on "Bad idea".
Now, the latest news from Liow Tiong Lai (Health Minister) said that the Government will reduce the compulsory service period. Read it here : Shorter service for new doctor
"The suggestion is not practical at all. We must make it attractive for doctors to join the service. We cannot force them to work."
And it was backed by the Health Ministry Director General too :
"We are providing more incentives to retain the doctors who are in service, attracting Malaysian doctors from overseas, allowing locums, providing extra allowances for overtime and making arrangements to hire foreign doctors to work with us on fellowship programmes."
My advice ? Simple. Every year JPA sponsors tonnes of medical students overseas to Middle East, Czech Republic, Russian Federation, United Kingdom, Scotland, United States, Australia, New Zealand.
Did I leave out any ? Yes, there are those sponsored to local medical institutions like IMU and Monash University Malaysia.
Ask them to provide you with feedbacks. They tell me all sorts of stories and frequently I hear about the system in the country they were sent to study in compared to ours in Malaysia.
Some friends can point out what is the "turn off" for not returning to Malaysia as a qualified medical doctor.
Do I need to lay out the methodology to gather feedback from them or how to reach them ? I can easily lead you to a handful of JPA sponsored medical students who will tell you what is in their minds.
And please. Share with them your plans to see if they think it is good or not. Brainstorm with the FUTURE doctors as well.
I have many medical friends who have plenty to say about the current system and I believe addressing such issues will settle the "crisis" in our public medical sector ONCE AND FOR ALL.
It is getting very dull and boring each time you tell us "yes we know the problems" and "yes we are planning to attract them back".