Sibu doctor regrets decision to reject UK offer

Uncertain future: (From left) Dr Wong, Dr Bong and Dr Yong.

SIBU: After getting her paediatric degree from the University of Southampton in 2018, Dr Bong Ing Hui was offered a lucrative offer to work in Britain.

But wanting to return and serve her country, she turned it down without much thought.

Little did she know that it would be a decision she would live to regret.

She and another medical officer, Dr Wong Woan Hui, had their contracts with the Sibu General Hospital (SGH) terminated for reasons only known to the Health Ministry.

“I was offered a seven-year job in the UK but let it go as I wanted to serve my country, ” Dr Bong told a press conference organised by the SUPP Education Bureau here yesterday.

Both Sibu-born doctors are now in limbo. They were notified by the ministry last Nov 13 that their contracts which were already in the second year would not be renewed.

“It was a shock because they did not give us any indication that our contracts will be terminated.

“There was even no grace period given to us. They just sent us a letter saying that our contracts had been terminated, ” said Dr Bong, 29.

She said initially, they were under the impression that their contracts would be renewed, only for the letters to dash their hopes.

“They did not give us a reason, ” Dr Bong said, adding that she and and Dr Wong did not have any disciplinary record at SGH.

Both have appealed to the ministry but have not received any response.

Dr Bong was with the hospital’s paediatric department for two years, and served a year as house officer.

She also passed her Royal Colleges of Physicians of the United Kingdom (MRCP) (Paediatric) Part 1 in 2018.

Dr Wong was with the hospital’s O&G Department for two years and passed her Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (MRCOG) Part 1 paper in February 2018.

They are pleading with the ministry to reconsider “placing us to where we belong”.

“We are hoping to get back to the programme and then complete our training because if you want to become a specialist in Malaysia, one has to serve in a government hospital under consultant specialists. It’s impossible for us to do this elsewhere, ” said Dr Wong, 30.

Both doctors need another two years to complete the programme.

While awaiting word from the ministry, Dr Bong and Dr Wong have applied to private medical specialist centres to serve as locums.

Another doctor with SGH, Dr Albert Yong, whose two-year contract will expire this May, is also worried.

“As only a quarter of doctors like us under a two-year contract will be accepted for permanent posts, I am not sure whether I will be among them, ” said Dr Yong, who is the chairman of the Sibu branch of the Malaysian Medical Association.

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