Junior doctors in Catch-22 situation
The number of new doctors facing unemployment has been rising annually due to the limited number of training places available at government and university hospitals.
Malaysian Pre-Houseman Joint (MPHJ) spokesman Dr Muhammad Firdaus Syukri Zubaidi said medical graduates must obtain a full medical licence, which they receive upon completion of housemanship training.
However, he said housemanship training was only provided by accredited government and university hospitals.
“Yet, as the number of graduates has increased in the past five years, the number of training centres and houseman posts has remained relatively static.
“The private sector is not willing to employ a doctor without a full medical licence, whilst other countries have laid out strict entrance and linguistic examinations for foreign doctors.
“Thus, neither the private sector nor working abroad are viable options for the junior doctor. Public service is the only option,” he said yesterday.
“We are at the mercy of the Public Service Department (PSD) and Health Ministry.
“In the final analysis, medical graduates are worst off compared to other graduates.
“Junior doctors are trapped in a Catch-22 predicament, not entirely of their making but bearing the brunt of the policies of the PSD and healthcare systems.”
Dr Firdaus said those wanting to pursue medicine, should be made cognisant of the changes currently at play and not be misled by false societal perceptions.
He said many individuals had ventured into the medical field under the impression that they would be guaranteed employment. He said this had led to a mismatch between the number of graduates and training positions.
“Medical graduates of 2013 waited for an average of three months before starting housemanship while graduates of 2016 have yet to be employed after eight months of waiting. The promise of a secure career in medicine is now a thing of the past.”