If all Malaysian doctors serving in
2) Working conditions
3) Prospect of equitable career advancement
4) Social and political environment
The compulsory service in the government is a hindrance to doctors coming back. During my tenure as the minister, on a case by case basis, doctors did not have to serve the compulsory service if:
1) Their age > 40 years old;
2) On a case by case basis especially when there is an acute shortage of specialists in a particular subspecialty, for example oncologists, they may be exempted and;
3) Service in the army and university -->regarded as part of compulsory service. The 3 year compulsory service is not full time for doctors and specialists.
The problem now is that, if we waive the compulsory service for foreign doctors, local doctors will protest. Not only that, they will feel demoralised and discriminated against.
When the above rules were implemented, we managed to attract a mere handful of doctors to return. Nevertheless a major stumbling block was the lumbering bureaucracy known as the MMC secretariat -with regards to basic accreditation. A particular case which comes to mind(bearing in mind that it was only one of a few I had encountered during my tenure)was a Malaysian serving as a professor of surgery in a reknowned South Australian University Pediatric Unit. He applied to be registered with the MMC in order to teach medical students and surgeons in Malaysia. To my horror, he was given the merry go round with conditions that he had to show where he did his housemanship and posting which was done by this particular professor 35 years ago. He was also asked to complete his O&G rotation to qualify for a practising certificate. Fortunately common sense prevailed in the end after intervention. But the very fact that intervention from higher ups was even needed speaks volumes about the hurdles that many doctors coming back face.