Chief Secretary to the Government believes work pressure is the main reason why hospital interns go missing from work and are served termination notices later.
KLANG: Hospital interns make up the highest number of civil servants served with termination notices, says Chief Secretary to the Government Ali Hamsa.
He said this was a waste as most of them had studied abroad on government scholarships.
Sponsoring a medical student’s studies overseas could sometimes climb to as much as RM1 million or more, and while the cost of education in local varsities was far lower, it was still a “hefty sum”, he said, adding that he would check with the Public Service Department (JPA) for the exact figures to back his claim.
He also said the inability to deal with the pressures of working in a public hospital resulted in many interns disappearing for days on end, at times even for hundreds of days.
“There are hospital interns, also known as housemen, who go missing for up to 400 days at a time. They were let go because of this,” Ali said.
“This is a huge problem and we need to find the root cause and fix it but I have a feeling it is because of the pressures of their jobs,” he told reporters at a press conference at the Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital here today.
Ali also attributed the policy of permitting hospital interns to follow their spouses overseas for study purposes as another possible reason why many went missing from work.
He said he had spoken to the managers concerned to review the policy.
He also cautioned parents against forcing their children to become doctors, adding, “There are many doctors who only became doctors because their parents forced them into it. This is one of the reasons they may face pressure once they start working.”
When asked about the country’s bloated civil service as opposed to those of other countries, Ali said the comparison was not accurate as it did not take into account the military service, critical service, or even firemen.
“That’s perhaps why ours seems bigger statistically, because we’ve included all the sectors.
“Different countries account (for their civil service) differently but you need to compare apple to apple to get an accurate picture.”
Earlier this month, Second Finance Minister Johari Abdul Ghani said there was one civil servant to every 19.37 people in the country.
A Borneo Post report said the proportion of civil servants to the national population in other countries like Singapore was 1 to 71.4 people; Indonesia 1:110; Korea 1:50, China 1:108, Japan 1:28, Russia 1:84 and the United Kingdom 1:118.