Monday, December 13, 2010

Health Minister Should Explain on steps taken to adress oversupply of Doctors.

Dato Seri Liow Tiong Lai should explain to the people what effective steps he will take to address the problem of oversupply of doctors.

On Nov 27, The Star has highlighted concerns about a glut on the number of housemen and the quality of fresh medical graduates.

Yesterday, the Star reported that the Government will impose a five-year moratorium on medical programmes as an immediate measure to prevent the glut in housemen from becoming worse.The moratorium will prohibit the launch of new medical programmes in the country.

Existing medical schools will be encouraged to focus more on quality. This is a decision which should have been made earlier. In fact, the glut problem should not have arisen at all .In June this year, I have raised the issue of oversupply of doctors in the country.

I have then said:- “An oversupply will mean that the new medical graduates will face the problem of getting their compulsory housemanship training. Even if the graduates can all be placed in the public hospitals, the question that arises is whether they will obtain sufficient and quality training needed due to the high housemen to patient ratio?”
I wonder if the houseman glut problem has not been highlighted by the Star, will the Health Minister ever do something to address this serious problem.

However, the moratorium will only help to prevent the glut problem from getting worse and not immediately solve the problem. This is because presently we are already having too many medical colleges compared to our population.

Britain which has a population of 61 million has 26medical colleges, and Canada with a population of 34 million has 17 medical colleges.

But Malaysia which has a population of 27 million has 24 medical colleges. Does not this mean that we have too many medical colleges and they are overproducing
doctors?

What the nation is facing is therefore not just the issue of houseman glut, but also the oversupply of doctors. Dato Seri Liong Tong Lai should explain to the people what effective steps he will take to address the problem of oversupply of doctors.

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