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DOCTORS' COMPULSORY SERVICE TO BE SHORTENED

In a move to woo doctors especially specialists residing overseas to come back and offer their services to the nation, study is now under way to reduce the duration of government hospital s compulsory service from the present four years to three years. Currently there are only 1800 specialist doctors in the country out of the total number of 13,000 doctors.

A welcome move.

Requirements for compulsory service by medical graduates to be eased
sun2surf
SEBERANG PRAI (July,18,2008) : The Health Ministry is ready to ease requirements for compulsory service in government hospitals by medical graduates, in an effort to get them to come back to work in Malaysia.

Health Minister Datuk Liow Tiong Lai said the ministry is studying a proposal to reduce the compulsory service in government hospitals from four to three years to attract medical graduates who had chosen to work abroad, to return and practise in the country.

"Currently, we are not only facing a shortage of specialist doctors, but also regular doctors. The doctor-patient ratio is 1:1,145 people," he said.

According to him, there are currently there are 13,000 doctors in the country of which, 1,800 are specialists.

"If this proposal is approved, more of the doctors working abroad will return to the country," he said, adding that the ministry is also ready to consider discarding the mandatory requirement for doctors aged 45 and above to work at government hospitals.

"This is because they have acquired a lot of experience and skills from working abroad, so they shouldn't have to fulfill that requirement," he told reporters yesterday after accompanying Penang Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Abdul Rahman Abbas on a visit to the Sungai Bakap Hospital, in conjunction with the celebration of his 70th birthday on July 12.

Liow said so far only 100 local doctors working abroad had returned home to serve the country.
"The number of those who have returned is small compared to those who are still abroad. This is why more efforts are being arranged, including offering certain incentives," he said, adding that the effort is an initiative to raise the level of health care in the country.

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