Private hospitals urged to churn out own specialists, so says the Health Minister.
PRIVATE hospitals were today told to train more specialists on their own to assist the government in tackling the shortage of specialist doctors in the country, said Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai today.
He said at the moment the country had 5,000 specialist doctors and of this figure, 3,000 specialist doctors were now serving in the public sector.
“Private hospitals should also have their own specialists and should not depend only on government hospitals to obtain the service of specialist doctors.
“They should also train their existing doctors to become specialists,” he told reporters after opening the 20th International Conference and Exhibition on Health Care, here.
He said there were now 35,000 doctors in the country and the government hoped the ratio of one doctor to 400 people could be achieved by 2020.
No doubt that private hospitals are well staffed with specialists, but it does not mean that private hosipitals are well equipped for post-graduate training. The setup and patient population is quite different from teaching hospitals, and both private patients and specialists alike may not take well to this idea. It also requires specialists who are academically inclined. Perhaps some form of mutual cooperation between teaching hospitals and specific private hospitals and specialists could be arranged to facilitate post-graduate training but I sincerely doubt it is a good idea for private hospitals to do so alone.