Sunday, February 14, 2016

Grad doctors wait in vain for houseman posting

Despite graduating with a medical degree in October last year, Muhammad Faiz Hassan, 29, is working odd jobs, repairing cars and dabbling in wedding photography to support himself. He is among hundreds of future doctors who are forced to earn a living in fields unrelated to their medical studies because of a two-year backlog of housemanship placements in public hospitals. "I've heard that we may be expected to wait from six months up to a year for a placeent. "This is an incredibly long time, which not only affects my financial situation, but also worries me, that I might get rusty with my medical knowledge. "I am now applying for an assistant teaching position at a medical school in Cyberjaya. This way, I hope to stay in touch with my field and be prepared once I finally get called to work," said Faiz, from Batu Pahat, Johor. Faiz, a National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) recipient, said he felt pressured to find employment fast after receiving an email informing that he was required to start repaying the loan, six months from the notice date.  "My course was RM300,000 in total and I took the maximum loan of RM150,000 under PTPTN. "In addition to the interest expected to be incurred, I am daunted by the large debt I am starting out with immediately after graduating. "My parents are pensioners and I do not want to burden them, which is why I am hoping the government will be able to sort out my housemanship as soon as possible." He said most of his seniors have to wait long despite having gone for the Public Services Commission (PSC) interview, after which they were given an online ID to track their housemanship application. "Through the e-housemen system, we can know when the next intakes for housemanship will be open. "But I am still waiting to go for my PSC interview. If this can be sped up, it would be helpful." Mastura Mukhtar, 24, from Alor Star, Kedah, said many of her seniors have to wait two to three months after their PSC interview before getting a placement. "At least, if we are called for the PSC interview faster, we will not have to wait so long. "I'm rather lucky to have doctors as parents and can shadow them at work, but not many of my batch mates are in a similar position. "I, too, plan to take up part-time teaching to earn some pocket money and kill time," she said. According to Malaysian Medical Association president Dr Ashok Philips, the current backlog was because of a shortage following a government freeze on posts. "There are only 5,000 housemanship posts each year in the 43 public hospitals nationwide. "There are about the same number of medical graduates a year… some 20% of housemen take more than two years (the stipulated period) to finish, which creates a backlog in the number of available posts," he said. – February 15, 2016.]]>

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