Tuesday, March 31, 2015

From Doctors to Salesman

I am not surprised to find one in five houseman quit each year. This is actually a very high attrition rate. It represents a sheer wastage of resources.

In 2006, when I was the Minister of Health, I predicted that by 2014 that there would be a surplus of doctors (houseman). Malaysia with a population of 29 million has currently a whopping 33 Medical Schools (11 public and 22 private). In 2009, number of Medical Graduates per 100,000 populations was 11.2 and in the year 2012, it was 14.6 (4,067 graduates).

The United Kingdom, with a population of 63 million, has 32 Medical Schools. Australia, with a population of 23 million, has 18 Medical Schools and Canada with a population of 34 million has 17 Medical Schools.

We cannot deny that we are producing more doctors than the developed countries. We are compromising quality in order to get the quantity we think we need. With this rate, we expect Malaysia (local and overseas) will be producing a total of about 6,000 graduates per year.

To compound the problem, we recognize more than 350 Medical Universities worldwide. Some of these universities have passed their prime of life.

In 2007, when it became obvious that the quality of doctors (trained locally and overseas) was going downhill, I decided the compulsory houseman-ship to be extended from one year to two years. I was condemned and criticized. Some parents even wrote to me that the two years of houseman-ship will delay them from recouping their investment in their children medical education. Till today, I still think that I have made a right decision to extend the houseman-ship training to 2 years. I am confident that many senior doctors will agree with me.

Two years of compulsory houseman-ship may help to improve their clinical knowledge but it will never be able to rectify their shortcoming in training in the medical schools. Today, Malaysia public hospitals are confronted with too many housemen in one ward. Sometimes, housemen are more than the patients. This is really a Boleh-land.

Due to poor supervision and inadequate training, a lot of housemen clerk only 1 – 3 patients per day when they should clerk more than 10 per day in order to get adequate exposure or training.

In short, we are producing half-baked doctors. Some senior medical consultants told me that they are training the un-trainable due to a host of factors: poor attitude, lacking interest with no passion, poor basic medical training, poor command of English, poor patient relationship skill, frustration because working condition and pay do not meet expectation and etc.

Hence, there is a need to relook into a more holistic solution for medical education, houseman-ship training and expansion of public hospitals especially in semi urban areas.

If we delay we will soon have unemployed doctors and inadequately trained medical officers.

Presently, MOH has 132 hospitals and the total number of hospital beds in the public sector is 38,394. Currently we are short of 15,000 public hospital beds.

Those walking in the corridor of power in Putrajaya should have the political will and commitment to address these problems. One should not be afraid to rock the boat.

With nearly 6,000 housemen every year, soon housemen will need to wait for more than a year to get a posting. 

Ideally, the time has come to set up a Medical Commission to address many issues confronting medical education, training and services.





一个不能否认的事实是,我国栽培的医生人数比先进国还多。为了达到我们自己认为所需的医生人数,我们不惜在素质上做出妥协。以目前大马的医学院的阵容 而言,预料我国每年将栽培约6000名医学毕业生(包括国内外毕业)。












Friday, March 20, 2015


I predicted before the 505 GE that UMNO State Assemblymen would support PAS in implementing Hudud in Kelantan. This has now become a political reality.  Religion is used as a political tool by all political divide to achieve their political agenda. MCA accused DAP of being impotent to persuade PAS not to implement Hudud. DAP’s agree to disagree with PAS is only a political rhetoric to con the voters.

When it comes to the implementation of Hudud by PAS in Kelantan, UMNO for political expediency and religious responsibility will support PAS. A lot of Chinese political commentators including Chinese press used to mock at me and stated that this is an empty threat and that it will not frighten the Chinese community. Hence, during the 505 GE, there was a significant rise of support for PAS by the Chinese community.  Soon, DAP will accuse MCA of equally impotent to restrain UMNO from rendering support to PAS in implementing Hudud in Kelantan.

The acid test will be when PAS tables the private bill for the implementation of Hudud in the Parliament. Will UMNO support PAS in Parliament? The proposed Private Bill by PAS in Parliament will never be passed through without UMNO MPs’ support. I am confident that Prime Minister who is the President of UMNO and Chairman of BN is fully aware of MCA’s stand with regards to PAS’ Hudud. When I was the President, Prime Minister himself had cautioned me to tone down my attack against PAS Hudud as it may be twisted that MCA is anti-Islam.

Hence, I predict that UMNO MPs will not support PAS’s Private Bill in the Parliament. Somebody in MCA will then go to town to claim credit. However, if UMNO MPs support PAS’ Private Bill in Parliament, MCA cannot continue to ignore the elephant in the room and blame others for supporting PAS Hudud in Kelantan. To continue issuing statement condemning DAP is an exercise of futility. The Malaysian community expects more from MCA and it is time for MCA leadership to rise to the occasion.

Welcome to my Blog

As a concerned MCA member, I am trying my best to help in the process of rebuilding and repositioning of the party.

Therefore, I welcome party members and members of public to post your constructive suggestions and opinions on my blog on how to rebuild and reform the party, eventually enabling MCA to regain support from all party members and the community.

Thank you for your suggestions.