‘MoH personnel must continue practice’

National 1 minute, 41 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

MEDICAL specialists under the Ministry of Health (MoH) are now obligated to continue practising their field of specialty as the government seeks to maximise its investment returns on human capital.

Health Minister Yang Berhormat Dato Paduka Dr Hj Zulkarnain Hj Hanafi yesterday announced the introduction of a new policy requiring all medical specialists including doctors in his ministry to practise their skills on a minimum weekly basis.

“This is applicable to me, as well as my deputy permanent secretary (who is) a specialist in primary healthcare division. Likewise for officers of other levels in physiotherapy, occupational therapy, pharmacy and nursing,” he said.

However, he noted Some senior doctors will still be involved doing administrative duties such as leading a department or specialty with support of an administrator.

The minister was responding to a concern raised by Yang Berhormat Datin Paduka Hjh Salbiah Hj Sulaiman at the 12th Legislative Council session on the impact of job-skill mismatch among doctors and healthcare professionals.

“The government allocated large sums for locals to acquire expertise in certain fields such as medicine and health.... But lately, the public are questioning why their physicians have been moved out of the MoH to do administrative work in other ministries,” she said.

Calling the job-skill mismatch a waste of human capital, the member urged MoH to take steps to recall their medical personnel from other ministries towards optimising the use of manpower in civil service.

As the country is currently facing an economic downturn, she noted discussions at the ongoing parliamentary session were focused on how the government plans to spend wisely, optimise funds and use of state assets including human capital as well as downsizing projects.

“What are the benefits to be derived by the government, particularly MoH, in transferring two senior medical officers to carry out administrative tasks in other ministries, and what impact will it have on efforts to persuade local specialists abroad to return and serve in the sultanate?” asked YB Datin Paduka Hjh Salbiah.

The Brunei Times