KUCHING: Experienced doctors working overseas are encouraged to come back to the country to provide quality healthcare services.
Kuching Specialist Hospital (KPJ) chairman Tuan Abdul Wahab Baba said it recognises there was a shortage of doctors in both Sabah and Sarawak.
“Efforts have been done to train local doctors and also local doctors outstation to come back so that they can practice in Malaysia through Talentcorp Malaysia,” said Abdul Wahab.
Currently, there are 29 full-time doctors working in KPJ Kuching and Sibu. Another 17 to 20 are visiting resident consultants.
“It is very small number because there’s a lot of pulling and pushing factor. We have to consider the doctors especially those who have stayed overseas for quite a number of years,
“The pulling factors vary from looking after their elderly parents or new services that they want to introduce back in the country. It is very difficult to bring them back,” he said during the press conference after the launching of the new MRI 1.5 Tesla at KPJ.
As reported by KPJ executive director Mah Lai Heng, the most frequent concern of these doctors were whether they were being protected and were they going to be guided by the local system.
“This is a good indication that Malaysian doctors from abroad want to come back if the opportunities are there.
“At the moment, they have not recognised certain universities in Taiwan but have been there for 10 or 20 years as super sub-special clinicians so I think it will be a win-win for Sarawakian if we can bring them home,” said Mah.
Talentcorp has held roadshows with the ministry of health to travel to countries to scout out the local talents. Many local doctors working overseas have been identified to be sub-speciality doctors like vascular surgeons and plastic surgeons.
KPJ medical director Dr David Ling Sheng Tee said the doctors they were looking for were not those who went there for training and returned.
“Talentcorp is looking for doctors who have settled down there for many years and we will entice them to come back. These doctors are established and very experienced. It’s a bit more challenging to bring these people back to their homeland,” said Ling.
“There are some bureaucratic processes that need to be done. As the government has said, we encourage those who are senior to come back and we facilitate their readjusting to the local environment.”
KPJ will assist these doctors through a series of steps from clearing the Malaysia Medical Council (MMC) to negotiating with the government ministry to get attachments for them.
“We have lots of senior specialists who will guide and attach them, sometimes it takes about six months.
“Once the local system recognises them as clinicians and specialities then they can come work in the private sector. We want to comply and assist in a proper manner,” said Mah.
Doctors who wish to work in private hospitals must register with the National Specialist Register as well as MMC.