Consider non-Sarawakian doctors in state too

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KUCHING: Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) Sarawak has proposed that besides Sarawak-born doctors, the Health Ministry (MoH) should also consider giving permanent posts to non-Sarawakian doctors presently serving in the state and who are married to Sarawakians.

“These doctors are likely to serve the state in the longer term with such family ties,” said MMA Sarawak chairman Dr Teh Siao Hean.

He said those who had undergone their housemanship training in Sarawak should also be prioritised if they fulfilled the aforementioned criteria.

“They are likely to be more familiar with the situation and needs of the local population,” he told New Sarawak Tribunewhen contacted recently.

Earlier on Monday, the Dewan Negara was told that MoH had given priority to medical and dental officers from Sarawak, Sabah and Labuan to be given permanent appointments to serve in their respective home states.

Dr Teh said MMA Sarawak welcomed MoH’s move, adding that this helped to relieve the shortage of doctors to some extent in the public sector in the short term.

“MMA Sarawak hopes that this will be continued,” he said.

He said the issue of manpower shortage was not a new one in Sarawak, pointing out that a substantial number of doctors serving in Sarawak are non-Sarawakians.

“A conscious and consistent effort needs to be made to constantly replace doctors who transfer back to Peninsular Malaysia following their stint in Sarawak.

“Many incentives have been proposed for more doctors to serve in this state as well as to stay on — for example, special allowances, promotions, and training prospects — but these remain in the pipeline,” he said.

Dr Teh hoped that some of these incentives could be implemented soon to overcome this long-standing shortage.

He said such incentives would appeal to both Sarawakians and non-Sarawakians alike and help to increase and retain doctors in the state.

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