Allow private hospitals to train own specialists

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Allow private hospitals to train own specialists

Allowing private hospitals train their own specialists could benefit hundreds of medical officers who are waiting for contracts or permanent jobs.

Datuk Dr Kuljit Singh, president of Association of Private Hospitals Malaysia (APHM), said this was pitched to Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin in a recent discussion.

“Opportunities for medical officers to be trained as specialists and then given a post in the government sector are limited. To make things worse, the current practice of medicine and surgery in private hospitals is very much dependent on specialists who are trained and experienced in the public system,” he said in a statement today.

Kuljit acknowledged that a large number of doctors leaving the public sector was a legitimate concern but said the greater worry at this point was the lack of opportunities for younger doctors to be trained as specialists and later serve in public or private hospitals.

“It has been known that private healthcare also contributes greatly to a segment of patients in this country and increases tax income and job opportunities to the non-specialists such as private nurses, allied health and administrators.”

He urged the government for assurance that slots in local public medical universities could be attained on a yearly basis in multiple disciplines, to expedite the training of candidates funded by private hospitals.

Dr Kuljit said currently, there is a private specialisation programme conducted by Kumpulan Perubatan Johor (KPJ) Healthcare University College (KPJUC).

He hoped that this programme could be further accredited to accommodate a larger number of doctors in multiple specialisations.

Besides KPJUC, he said other private hospitals may embark on their own programmes but the process could be tedious and complicated.

“Private hospitals could also have an international training programme with international colleges for membership and fellowship as an option.

“This is the hope of getting on the National Specialist Register, based on experience and exposure gained in private hospitals. These candidates sponsored by private hospitals will have long-term bonds to serve their patients,” he said.

In July, the ‘Hartal Doktor Kontrak’ movement had mobilised hundreds of contract workers to walk out of work to pressure the government to offer doctors better terms and permanent positions.

A special committee was set up to come up with long-term solutions on the issue and the committee was now looking at amending related acts including the medical and dental acts.

In Nov, Khairy told Dewan Rakyat that a total 4,186 contract workers who had completed two years of compulsory service with the Health Ministry had been referred to the Public Services Department for permanent postings.

He said the budget needed for the workers which includes 3,586 medical officers and 300 dental and pharmaceutical officers was RM377,485,089.

Khairy said the contract workers in question were taken from a pool of 10,583 who had completed their two years of compulsory service and had their service extended for another two years to enable them to continue working as well as specialise within this period

He also told the house that the ministry was in talks with the Public Services Department to amend the Pensions Act to offer jobs on a permanent basis by utilising the Employees Provident Fund scheme.

Khairy had noted that since the end of 2016, all doctors who passed have been appointed on a contract basis.

Of the 24,000 on contract, he said only 1,000 plus have been offered permanent positions, and that it was a legacy issue that had to be addressed immediately. Nst

Allow private hospitals to train own specialists

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