Singapore has always been a country which stresses on acquiring talented individuals. Their focus on human capital is justified. Some may argue that this is because it is a country without any natural resources.
Medical students at public universities in Malaysia enjoy a relatively cheaper medical education. It is subsidised by the taxpayers indirectly. So the argument that these students should then serve the community that ‘paid’ for their education is not without merit. It is perplexing why a bond has never been enforced. Will it drive students from local universities? With private medical education being astronomically high, this is unlikely to happen.
Because of the ‘generosity’ of Malaysia, Singapore then gets the ability to attract medical graduates to their country with lucrative offers. Such offers become even more attractive when the system in Malaysia appears to be in disarray. Stop gap measures like barring graduates with poor SPM scores are misguided and desperate.
Can Malaysia compete with Singapore for these bright young talents? Likely not, at least for the moment. There is a lot of room for improvement and more attention needs to be put into attracting and keeping fellow Malaysians in Malaysia. We cannot be lackadaisical in our approach. In the era of globalisation, nothing must be left to chance. Malaysia should not shy away from this challenge, no matter how unfair it may seem.
Face the challenge, Malaysia.
Singapore luring top medical graduates
PETALING JAYA: As Malaysia struggles to accommodate thousands of its medical graduates for housemanship, Singapore has “hijacked” the cream of the crop for its hospitals.
And Singapore does this by identifying the students even before they graduated by giving them provisional offers.
Hospital Tengku Ampuan Rahimah (Klang) physician Dr Tan Guo Jeng said a six to eight months wait for housemanship was too long and those who did not want to wait had taken up offers from Singapore.
“According to my contacts, Singapore has already given conditional offers to some 10 to 20 of our Universiti Malaya (UM) and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) medical students.
“And they have not even sat for their final exams,” he said during a dialogue with the Health Ministry and the Malaysian Medical Council (MMC) recently.
The dialogue was organised by the medical student movement, Malaysian Medics International (MMI).
Dr Tan said last year alone, Malaysia lost 50 to 60 of its UM and UKM graduates to Singapore.
UM Faculty of Medicine deputy dean Prof Dr Azad Hassan admitted that it faced the problem of losing its top medical graduates to Singapore.
“I don’t know how the Singaporeans know about our top students and contact them directly. For the past two or three years, we get 80 to 100 housemen a year.
“With the Health Ministry’s assistance, we’re now able to allow the top 20 or 30 to work in UMMC (University Malaya Medical Centre) and continue with their Masters programme. Hopefully with that, we can keep them locally,” he said.
MMI chairman S.S. Vikkineshwaran said the students were identified by their seniors working in Singapore hospitals who would recommend them.