GEORGE TOWN, Oct 23 — The government’s move to offer contracts to graduate doctors awaiting housemanship will help some 2,600 graduate doctors on the waiting list every year, said Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam.
He said these graduate doctors could wait for up to a year as there were not enough permanent posts for all of them.
“The problem we had initially was the limited number of posts.The Public Service Department (PSD) is restricted from creating new permanent posts. For example, if there are 80 posts available, it can only accommodate 80 doctors on a permanent basis,” he said during a press conference at Wisma MIC Penang yesterday.
“The contract method provides flexibility to absorb the graduates as their waiting period will be reduced. At the same time, they can receive adequate training.
“It is also easier for PSD to create contract positions.”
He also said there were legal requirements for the ministry to provide training for doctors for at least two years, and dentist and pharmacists for at least one year.
Through the contract method, he said the doctors could undergo housemanship for four years, while dentists and pharmacists should be in training for three years.
Malaysian Pharmaceutical Society president Amrahi Buang said this was good news as it had been a problem for the past two years.
“We are happy that the government had decided to give doctors, dentists and pharmacy graduates a chance to finally have a hands-on experience, especially after their long wait,” he said.
Amrahi said the whole idea of the contract was to register pharmacists so that they could work in the government sector.
“This initiative will expose the full-fledged doctors to a training ground where they can obtain experience while creating a name for themselves,” he said.
“If this continues, we would not have to face an issue of putting hold on housemanship programmes,” he said.