PETALING JAYA: DAP national vice-chairman Teresa Kok has called for a long-term solution to the oversupply of medical graduates in Malaysia.
It was reported yesterday that the government had offered employment contracts to thousands of medical, dental and pharmaceutical graduates, as proposed in Budget 2017.
A health ministry official said that since last December, 1,219 candidates had been offered contracts by the Public Service Commission.
In a statement today, Kok said while this was a welcome relief for the graduates, there were three issues of concern which the government must address and resolve.
“Firstly, when the prime minister announced the contract scheme last year in his Budget 2017 presentation, he mentioned that with the introduction of the scheme, 2,600 graduates who cannot find placement as housemen can now work at hospitals on a contract basis.
“This means that till today, less than half the graduates have been offered employment on contract basis.
“How long more must the rest wait?”
Kok said there was also the question of whether the medical graduates on contract would be offered permanent jobs at the end of their housemanship.
“Yesterday’s announcement has revealed that not all will be offered permanent posts.
“Hence, the question of doctors becoming jobless could become a real problem in Malaysia.
“Is it fair for our youths who have toiled for five years to end up jobless due to bad planning by the government which results in an oversupply of medical graduates?”
Kok said the contract scheme was only an ad hoc measure. What was needed to resolve the problem of doctors becoming jobless was an effective long-term solution.
“A long-term solution will mean tackling the real and main cause – the oversupply of medical graduates. But there is no political will to address this issue.”
The issue of an oversupply of doctors was raised several years ago by the Malaysian Medical Association and the Malaysian Medical Council.
“I have also raised the issue inside and outside the Parliament, but the government’s response to the issue, which should be regarded as a crisis, has been slow and disappointing with no effective plans to address the issue.
“Worse, there were even initial denials that there would be an oversupply of doctors.”