INCENTIVES are continually improved to retain doctors, especially specialists in public hospitals, but temptation from the private sector is just too great to resist.
Many of these doctors and specialists leave the government service to join the private sector, said Deputy Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahya.
“They receive irresistible offers out there. They qualify as specialists and not long after that, they resign.
“We try to offer various types of incentives but we can’t compete with the private sector,” he said in reply to a supplementary question from Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali (BN-Bagan Serai).
To ensure government hospitals and clinics have enough doctors, the ministry constantly organises training programmes.
“Three or four years ago, only 300 places were available for specialist training.
“Now, it has been increased to 1,000 places a year. There was a proposal to conduct parallel programmes with foreign universities to speed up specialist training in resolving the high rate of turnover,” he said.
On another matter, the House was told that the construction of the 1,090km Pan Borneo Highway in Sarawak is expected to be completed in eight years, and be fully operational in early 2023.
Deputy Works Minister Datuk Rosnah Abdul Rashid Shirlin said the project was divided into two phases.
The construction of the first phase, covering Telok Melano-Sematan-Kuching-Serian-Sibu-Bintulu-Miri, began on March 31.
The initial construction involved a 43km route from the Jalan Nyabau intersection to the Jalan Bakun intersection, with a total contract value of RM638mil.
“The second phase involves a 33km route from Telok Melano to Sematan, launched on Sept 1 at a contract value of RM580mil.
“Other segments of the first phase will be implemented in stages beginning next year,” she said in reply to a question from Wong Ling Biu (DAP-Sarikei).
Wong had wanted to know the progress of the construction works of the highway.
The second phase involving the route in Limbang and Lawas is expected to start in 2018, said Rosnah.
She added that the compensation for the land acquired and houses and crops affected by the Pan Borneo Highway project in Sarawak was estimated at RM800mil and it would be borne by the Federal Government.