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Doctor shortage worsened by those who refuse to return

The letter The sinister side of gov't policy for doctors by Ida Bakar MRCS refers.

I am quite amused by her statement that she had 'to defend her lot'. I suppose 'her lot' here means students sponsored by the government to do medicine abroad and who refuse to come back and serve the nation.

I am quite familiar with this lot. During scholarship interviews, they swore that they'd serve the nation, the needy and how they'd be willing to serve in remotest corner of Malaysia when they become doctors. Alas, the cobbled roads of Edinburgh are so much better than Tawau, one supposes, not to mention the better pay too.

In short, this lot is no better than any other contract-buster or loan defaulter. It is a wonder that the government hasn't been going after their guarantors. I suspect that this lot also happens to be sons and daughters of the well-heeled and connected (as usual).

The 'sad' story of the writer's friend, who had to leave the comfort of Malaysia to work in the UK rather than being posted to various small hospitals in Malaysia further emphasises the character of this lot.

Serving in small hospitals is part of the deal when one chooses to do medicine. It is what we call the 'three years of compulsory service' after which you can take up whatever specialty you want.

The state of affairs involving local doctors (Health Ministry and the Public Services Department being deaf and dumb to their problems) is further worsened by government-sponsored doctors who, by not coming back to serve, further aggravate the shortage of doctors locally.

Believe me, there is no gripe about foreign trained doctors. The gripe is towards a selfish bunch of government-sponsored medical students who each took massive scholarships as their birthright (part of it being my tax money) and then not honour the agreement they signed. That's all.