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Sunday May 25, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Sunday May 25, 2014 MYT 9:06:55 AM
by christina chin
PETALING JAYA: Medical lecturers want a better salary and promotion scheme – and they are determined to pursue it.
Medical deans’ council of public universities chairman Prof Datuk Dr Raymond Azman Ali said a committee would be formed to review the criteria for promotions of clinical lecturers.
“We will raise our concerns with the Education Ministry through Higher Education Department director-general (Prof Datuk Dr Morshidi Sirat) next month,” he said.
Dr Raymond, who is Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia faculty of medicine dean, said UKM was losing its lecturers to private practice.
In the past year, eight resigned. “More are expected to leave soon,” he added.
Last week, Sunday Star front-paged a report that medical lecturers were leaving public universities in droves, complaining of years of being overworked and underpaid.
It was reported that 38 senior clinical lecturers had left Universiti Sains Malaysia’s Kubang Kerian campus in Kelantan in the past six months while Universiti Malaya lost 21 of its clinical lecturers last year.
Dr Raymond said the discrepancy between salaries offered in private practice and public universities was “just too large”.
With stricter promotion criteria, clinical lecturers under the Education Ministry were even worse off than their counterparts in the Health Ministry, he said.
“Many of my ex-students are now on a higher salary scale than I am,” he said.
“(As lecturers), we have to do research, publish high impact journals, teach students, prepare examination questions and examine students, in addition to our clinical work,” he said.
He said teaching hospitals under the Education Ministry were “Health Ministry agents”.
“The UKM Medical Centre treats some two million patients from neighbouring areas like Cheras and Hulu Langat as well as those from as far as Perlis and Sabah.
“We help decongest government hospitals, yet our promotion is slow because we are under the Education Ministry,” he said.
He said the salary scale of lecturers here was pegged to an academic position unlike in countries like Britain where increments are based on service duration and excellence.
Malaysian Medical Association president Datuk Dr N.K.S. Tharmaseelan had claimed that some clinical lecturers were stuck for more than 20 years without a promotion despite being specialists and qualified surgeons with years of experience.
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