OUR current healthcare system is consistently progressing with better skilled health professionals alongside advancements in medical products and technologies.
Today, one year from the time the Covid-19 pandemic began, we are better equipped with vaccines and other solutions being rolled out to curb this unprecedented situation.
However, a primary concern regarding the medical field is if our medical/healthcare workforce is sufficiently effective.
The current medical workforce
A report from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) indicates a shortage of physicians in both primary and speciality care. The number of healthcare workers needs to increase dramatically to meet the demand in coming years.
There are various shortcomings to the medical field, one of which is recruiting more medical workers. According to Prof Chris Baldwin, chief executive officer and provost of Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia (NUMed), there is an ageing population of medical practitioners retiring in the near future.
“It is therefore imperative to have a ready pool of practitioners who are trained and well-prepared to meet the high demands of the profession, ” he said.
He added that a lack of reliable pathways to ensure better career advancements, such as for medical assistants, discourage many people from a medical profession.
“We need an ecosystem of programmes designed for better learning and understanding of the medical field, and the recruitment of students or trainees aimed at developing medical skills and reshaping career pathways, ” he said.
A brighter future?
Global health problems create shared responsibilities for health workers but some care providers have difficulties in coping with the rapidly evolving healthcare systems.
Well-defined roles and responsibilities of the medical workforce will ensure relevant services are delivered effectively to communities.
There should also be an assessment of skills and specialisations required to fill the respective positions in our healthcare system.
Community partnerships can help in the recruitment of healthcare providers. Medical organisations should consider partnering with public health departments, social service organisations, and law enforcement and community development groups to identify the needs of the community and establishing the best solutions.
Perhaps one of the most important partnerships to consider should be that with medical universities and community colleges as medical schools are responsible for producing the future medical workforce and medical students’ career choices as health professionals begin in medical schools.
NUMed, which is a part of the internationally renowned Newcastle University, UK, offers world-class medical education on Malaysian shores.
Among others, NUMed provides undergraduate degrees in Medicine (MBBS) and Biomedical Sciences (BSc), as well as opportunities for foundation and postgraduate study.
Its globally acclaimed programmes are designed to be responsive to the changing needs of both the Malaysian and global healthcare system.
In addition, NUMed establishes relationships with various players in the health and other related industries to ensure its programmes are relevant, and graduates are equipped for real-life scenarios.
NUMed’s MBBS students will be able to obtain a UK medical qualification. They will have an opportunity to undertake a period of study in the UK or elsewhere during their eight-week elective at the end of their fourth year.
Upon successful completion, they will be eligible for provisional registration as a doctor with both the UK General Medical Council (GMC) and the Malaysian Medical Council (MMC).
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