Coming soon: jobless doctors

Some startling figures from Dr. Pagavalan

MMC had only accredited 20 medical programs as of June 2013 as listed over here. This means that only 20 medical programs have produced graduates (not in maximum capacity yet) and the remaining 20 ( about 50%) have yet to produce any graduates. So, everyone who can count will know the situation in near future. If each produces 100 students (most medical schools will need atleast 150 students to make profit), we will have 4000 graduates locally by 2016. Another 1000-2000 will come from overseas, making a total of atleast 6000 graduates annually !! I presume it will hit 8 000 by 2018!

In March 2013, I wrote and published a circular from MOH that almost 95% of the post for MOs has been filled in most states. Today, I received an info via Facebook that almost 80-85% of the post for doctors in Malaysia has been filled ( see below). The shortage now is in Sabah and Sarawak.

As for 1 June 2013

Total Dr Post in KKM/PPUKM/HUKM/HUSM (Uni only have HO): 27573

Filled: 22374 (81%)

Vacant: 5199

Vacancy in Sabah/Sarawak : ~1500

Total HO post: 10387 (about 5 000/each year)

Vacancy: 1707 (16%)

Vacancy in Sabah/Sarawak : ~500

Total MO post: 17186

MO vacancy: 3487 (20%)

Vacancy in Sabah/Sarawak: ~1000

Post filled at present: 80%-84%

Even though new hospitals and posts will be created by the government, the number of new post will not be sufficient to absorb all these graduates. This will likely happen by 2017/2018 when most of the 40 medical programs would have started to produce graduates. Likely, the government may still give Housemanship post on contract basis after which, there will be no guarantee that you will get an MO post. Likely, the compulsory service will be scrapped. How the selection is done remained to be seen. Obviously, government sponsored and public university graduates will be given priority. The rest may need to sit for some sort of exams or evaluation after housemanship.

Read our lips: the number of new posts will not be sufficient to absorb all these graduates. Unless of course the Government drastically increases the number of posts available. It is unlikely these will be permanent jobs. Like in some other countries, junior doctors will only be given contract posts. This may not be a bad thing if contracts are renewed and promotions and training opportunities are conducted based on merit. Doctors then have to compete for the “good” training posts and it’s easier to weed out the bad doctors – simply not renewing their contracts.

Related post:
How many doctors are there in Malaysia?


Malaysian physician, haematologist, blogger, web and tech enthusiast