MOH Aims Placing Housemen In Six Months

MOH said that its target timeline for housemanship placement is no more than three months.

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 19 – The Ministry of Health (MOH) is looking to reduce the waiting period of medical graduates for housemanship from one year to six months by next year.

A series of discussions are being conducted with the Public Service Department (PSD) to see how best to overcome the issue, said Deputy Health Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye, according to The Star.

The parties are working towards house officer placements within six months, halved from a waiting time for the doctors’ training of a year or longer, amid a glut in medical graduates and limited vacancies for junior doctors in MOH facilities.

“In the long term, we hope to see them getting to start their training in less than three months upon graduation.

“Ideally, it should not be more than three months. That is the ministry’s target,” he said.

Dr Lee also added that the ministry was in talks with the PSD to come up with a more transparent system on who qualified for permanent or contract appointments.

“Right now, after the two-year housemanship, the medical officers are either made permanent or hired on a contract basis.

“Those in the latter group carry out work like the permanent staff, but are on a lower grade and earn less. Discussions are underway and we hope for a better outcome to resolve some of the issues,” he stated.

Yesterday, Malaysian Medical Association president Dr N. Ganabaskaran said that the lack of staff in government health facilities may lead to burnout amid an increase in patients and a hiring freeze.

“We can see the increase in workload and encounters,” he said.

“There is an urgent need to ensure the welfare of the staff is cared for to relieve the burnout seen amongst the senior staff.”

The government stopped the hiring of new civil servants in order to manage emolument costs and overlaps in the government departments.

Earlier this month, MOH caused an uproar when it said that it could no longer guarantee permanent employment to medical officers, who may be reappointed on contract to serve the government for a mandatory two years instead.

These junior doctors were told that after their compulsory service with MOH, they could seek jobs in public university hospitals or in the private sector.

MOH also confirmed that all contract MOs would continue their two-year mandatory service on housemen’s UD41 civil service grade, instead of being promoted like their permanent counterparts to UD44.

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