Teresa Kok questioned the government today if thought had been given to the future of medical graduates who accept its offer for contract employment under Budget 2017.
The Opposition lawmaker pointed to claims of an oversupply of doctors and asked Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam if private hospitals would really be able to provide jobs for those affected once their government contract expires.
“However, Subramaniam has not addressed or answered a most basic and important question that new medical graduates and their parents want to know — what happens after the contract ends? Can they really find jobs in the private sector?” the Seputeh MP said in a statement.
“Subramaniam said that once their contract ends, the doctors can find jobs in the private sector. But how many of them can be absorbed into the private sector when what most private hospitals require are specialist doctors with sufficient experience and not new medical officers,” she added.
She was commenting on the federal government’s initiative under Budget 2017 tabled this Friday, where about 2,600 graduates that were unable to find housemanship placement in the country would be allowed to work on contract basis from this December.
She also referred to Subramaniam’s remarks yesterday that the new scheme will see medical graduates given a four-year contract and dentistry and pharmacy graduates given a three-year contract, which exceeds their legally-required housemanship period of at least two years and one year respectively.
Subramaniam said the government’s initial problem was on the insufficient number of permanent posts for medical graduates with the Public Services Department restricted from creating new posts, with some waiting as long as one year for placement.
He also said that it was easier for the PSD to create contract positions and that the contract method would both shorten the waiting period for graduates and allow them to have adequate training.
Kok today claimed that the federal government lacks the political will to address the “crisis” of oversupply of doctors, which she said had previously been raised several years ago by the Malaysian Medical Association, Malaysian Medical Council and the former health minister Tan Sri Dr Chua Soi Lek.
“I have also raised the issue inside and outside the Parliament but the government’s response to the issue which should be regarded as a crisis has been slow and disappointing with no effective plans to address the issue. Worse, there were even initial denials that there would be oversupply of doctors.
“With the introduction of the contract scheme, the Health Minister should tell the public the clear and honest picture about doctors becoming jobless, rather than giving the impression that jobs are still many for them in the private sector,” she said, further calling on Putrajaya to take “full responsibility” for the alleged oversupply.
Source : The Malay Mail Online