Saturday, May 31, 2008

MMA: Allow Peninsula Doctors To Work Freely In Sarawak

The shortage of doctors in Sarawak can be overcome if the state government allows doctors from the peninsula to work freely in the state.

Malaysian Medical Association president Datuk Dr Khoo Kah Lin suggested Sarawak grant permanent resident (PR) status to peninsula doctors after they had served the state for a fixed period.

Speaking at the association’s annual banquet on Friday night, Dr Khoo urged the Health Ministry to lobby the state government on this matter.

Later, in response, Health Minister Datuk Liow Tiong Lai said he had conveyed the association’s request at a meeting with Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr George Chan Hong Nam on Friday.

Liow hoped the matter could be sorted out given the close cooperation between the state and federal governments.

Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud had asked the Health Ministry on Thursday to quickly resolve the acute shortage of medical officers and specialists in hospitals in the state.

Taib said out of the 1,334 510 or 38.2% had been filled while out of the 175 specialists posts in Sarawak medical officers’ posts, only General Hospital here, Sibu, Miri and Bintulu Hospitals, 135 or 77.5% had been filled.

The Chief Minister said specialist posts should also be created for other larger provincial hospitals like in Sri Aman, Sarikei and Kapit.

Dr Khoo said better incentives should be given to doctors working in remote areas in Sarawak and Sabah to retain them there.

“The government has provided hardship allowances to teachers serving in the rural areas. The same incentives should be extended to the doctors,” he added.

Dr Khoo said the government should hasten the process of posting new doctors, and follow what the Singapore government had done.

“Singapore has taken in our doctors to work as the process time for job application for new doctors is short and that their applications and processing are done on-line,” he added. (The Star)

***** Isn't it high time that those from the peninsula are allowed to practise without let or hindrance in Sabah and Sarawak?



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am from Sarawak and I agree that all Malaysians should have freedom to work anywhere in Malaysia regardless of whether it is Sabah or Sarawak. This thing about constitutional rights and 20-point agreement is a lot of nonsense. We should move on and foster better integration between West and East Malaysia. Standards of medical care will also improve. There is no use for us to lament if we in East Malaysia particularly the politicians are not ready to open up. Let's open up Sarawak and Sabah to all doctors, lawyers, engineers, pharmacists, architects and all other professionals for a start.

4:37 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I work in Sarawak. I am a Malaysian & from Selangor. The first year I was here I had a 1 year Work Permit. However, after the second year, I have to apply for a work permit every 6 months. It's the same with the few West Malaysians working here. Similarly to all the FOREIGN Expats working here!

5:17 PM GMT+8  
Blogger Dr Azwan said...

Hi there,

I thought the main problem is - not many peninsular doctors want to work in Sabah and Sarawak. Even if they were posted there, they try to find big cables (even seeing Dato' Chua last time) to avoid from going there.

As far as I know, even those Sarawakian doctors do not like to work in the rural or internal area. They prefer to work in the urban area where the tertiary hospitals are situated.

So, what happen is, the peninsular doctors are given the "privilege" to be posted in the rural areas while the native doctors are more in the big hospitals.

The worse part is, they were given promises that at most they will serve there is for 2 years. But after 2 donkey years, their application to go back to semenanjung to further their studies are rejected.

11:46 PM GMT+8  

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