Thursday May 1, 2008
Making sure docs come home
WITH reference to the letter Short-sighted plan to deny docs training (The Star, April 29), the Health Ministry would like to clarify a number of misconceptions that have arisen.
The ministry has always been supportive of medical professionals keen on pursuing continuous improvement of their qualifications and skill.
We are pleased to inform you that, contrary to the claims made by the writer, letters on statement of needs continue to be provided for doctors planning to pursue their specialty training in the US.
The main problem, as noted by the writer, is that the majority of these doctors (including his good self) have opted not to return to serve in Malaysia for various reasons, which is contrary to the ground that the statement of needs was issued because there is a dire need for professionals in this area of specialties in the country.
To facilitate the processing of the document requested, the doctors intending to be trained in the US are required to furnish their home address, contact number, information on their qualifications and working experience in Malaysia.
In addition, they are also required to provide a written assurance or a statutory declaration that they will return to Malaysia and report to the ministry on completion of their training programme.
The ministry is well aware of the significant contribution that these US-trained specialists can make to the advancement of the specialties in Malaysia.
The non-return of these specialists on completion of their studies continues to be an issue that requires the sincere and concerted efforts of all the relevant stake-holders to ensure that this brain drain will not be to the disadvantage of the development of our specialty services.
DATUK DR AZMI SHAPIE,
Director, Medical Development Division,
Ministry of Health.