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November 2010

Houseman Glut : Why should we be surprised?

Related article in The Star

It is no surprise that finally someone has spoken out against the sudden rise in the tide of houseman arrivals. With the production mill at full capacity, Malaysia is seeing a varied quality of graduates arriving at our wards. Every new houseman is so different depending on where they have studied making it almost impossible to tailor make a specific program during their housemanship years. Now with more dubious medical schools being allowed to operate, the quality is sure to drop, resulting in a more strenuous effort in training them during housemanship years.

Building more training hospitals as suggested by our honourable health minister will not solve but in fact aggravate the problem. As it is, our current hospitals are poorly staffed by experienced doctors. With a surge of housemen, more hospitals will only dilute the expertise in each of them.

Malaysia wants to achieve a good doctor patient ratio in the shortest possible duration. Unfortunately many policymakers are unaware of the actual situation on the ground and therefore implementing a quick fix solution by approving more medical schools in Malaysia. There is no foresight to plan for the future careers of these newer doctors as post graduate places are even more limited. Now the current medical officers and specialists are left to retrain many of these new doctors with the barest of resources.

Recent decision to allow foreign medical institutions to set up camp will only result in a potential mass efflux of experienced doctors from our local hospitals and universities. Smaller medical schools can only hope to scramble for the remaining few to fill their academic positions. This will further widen the already gaping difference in competency among our new medical graduates.

Malaysia needs to solidify the existing institutions. They should seek to develop collaboration between local faculties and foreign medical schools, not just allowing them to set up camp here, which can potentially further isolate disadvantaged local faculties.

Why is it that General Medical Council of the United Kingdom refuses to recognise local medical degrees, when their universities are setting up camp in our backyard and populating their academia with local expertise, many of whom are from local universities prior??

The Government should therefore strive to strengthen our local universities by establishing and encouraging collaboration between foreign medical faculties and local ones. In this way, the resources can be solidified and perhaps result in better research ideas and eventual international recognition.

Otherwise, ultimately it is the public that will be the losers with less than competent doctors attending to them.

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3 Responses to “Houseman Glut : Why should we be surprised?”

  • Palmdoc says:

    Churning out graduates with the numerous medical degree mills popping up in this country without due attention to standards nor proper planning on training = disaster.

  • poor doctor says:

    The even bigger disaster is the health minister don’t even know the root of the problem is the mushrooming of the medical mills, he thought building more training hospitals is the solution.

  • drpct says:

    australia controls postgrad seats by respective colleges- surgery; obstet and gynae and so on

    UK is also reviewing the number of postgrads required for the country and their population- hence limiting and also making training rather restrictive. They are also reviewing their postgrad intake

    MALAYSIA is going to allow non-quality controlled medical schools- I wonder where are the medical teachers from??? 30 med schools in Malaysia presently `, besides medical colleges outside malaysia.

    TODAY..WE HAVE OVERPRODUCTION OF HOUSEMAN- 3000-4000 PER YEAR AND OUR HEALTH MINISTER wants to build training hospitals but who are the trainers…??
    besides what is going to happen when postgraduate training begins…

    MRCS do not recognised Malaysia for their training
    MRCOG postgrads and hence trainers have decreased and UK will soon stop OG training. Soon there will be lesser people signing up for the training..
    Ophthal from UK/Edin is no longer recognised in Malaysia

    RESULT: Train Medical doctors improperly with Universities that are barely filled with proper teachers and are not recognised anywhere but in Malaysia

    Post grads also also not recognised outside malaysia, if you are locally trained…

    SOON, when our prime minister/sultan/famed personel WHO need treatment – go to Germany/Singapore/USA for treatment
    while we have expensive hospitals like PRINCE COURT and promote MEDICAL TOURISM … I CANNOT IMAGINE what will happen if as doctors, fall sick..besided getting insurance…can I trust any of the half – cooked rather half boiled doctors


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