G25: Invest In Doctors And Nurses To Stem Brain Drain

G25 also notes that frustrated medical specialists in the public sector are not well rewarded, as the group calls for attractive career paths in the government health service.

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 10 – G25 today expressed concern about the state of human resource development in Malaysia’s health care sector, as it urged the government to stem medical brain drain.

The group of retired high-ranking civil servants noted that doctors and nurses are leaving the government health service for neighbouring countries because of higher salaries abroad.

“Specialists are not well rewarded, causing them to leave out of frustration. The government should introduce the necessary changes to retain the talent within the country,” G25 said in a statement today.

“There should be attractive career paths in the government medical and health services, in the universities and in research institutions to create a healthy environment for the top professionals to remain in their scientific, research and academic careers so that the country does not lose them to other countries.”

G25 also called for higher investment in research and development (R&D) institutions.

“Studies show that Malaysia spends less as a percentage of GDP (gross domestic product) on R&D than most other countries at comparable levels of development. This needs to be rectified to keep Malaysia on the move with the rapidly changing technologies and scientific innovations.”

Government doctors have been increasingly vocal on Twitter of late, as they complain about being overworked and underpaid, pointing out that staff at fast food restaurants are paid more than doctors doing on-call.   

The Malaysian Medical Association said last Saturday that work overload and low salaries do not just affect junior doctors, but also specialists in the public health care sector.

The shortage of doctors and nurses across public and private health care facilities, amid rising patient loads, has led to days’ long strandings in the emergency department of public hospitals, as well as up to a day’s wait in private hospitals’ emergency rooms for beds in wards.

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