54% of medical officers left public sector in 2022, says Health Minister

KUALA LUMPUR: More than half or 54% of the 1696 medical officers in the country left the public service sector in 2022, with wanting to work in the private sector being the main reason, the Dewan Rakyat was told.

Replying to a supplementary question from Fong Kui Lun (PH-Bukit Bintang), Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad said that the ministry’s survey also found that of the total number of doctors who left, 4.5% are currently working abroad.

"Furthermore, 28% of them left due to personal reasons, being offered to work in public universities (6%), pursuing further studies (2.7%), and opening their own clinics (0.8%), while the other 0.5% did not state any reasons.”

Fong wanted to know the reasons medical officers left the public service sector during Question Time on Wednesday (Feb 28).

The minister said the government has implemented various initiatives to ensure medical officers stay in the public sector, including setting the starting salary for contract officers Grade UD41 at RM5,197, a significantly higher amount compared to other public service schemes.

He said the government had also appointed 9,822 medical officers to permanent posts between 2019 and 2023, with another 6,000 appointments to be made in 2024-2025.

Dr Dzulkefly added that the government also provides incentives for specialised studies through facilities such as full-paid study leave with Federal Training Allowance and the Skill Training Programme. - Bernama

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