Weekly ‘coffee chats’ to retain doctors’ services

National 1 minute, 54 seconds


THE Ministry of Health (MoH) has been meeting with local doctors working for the MoH on a weekly basis to get a better understanding of their issues and problems.

Speaking at the 12th Legislative Council (LegCo) session, Minister of Health Yang Berhormat Dato Paduka Dr Hj Zulkarnain Hj Hanafi told LegCo members that the informal weekly “coffee chats” have proved fruitful.

“The steps I have taken are meeting and hearing from our doctors on a weekly basis – especially the local doctors because they are Brunei’s investments,” he said in response to LegCo member Yang Berhormat Hj Gapor @ Hj Md Daud Karim’s enquiry on local doctors ending their services.

The health minister went on to say that the doctors were very eager to improve the health service in the country and that they provided ideas which can help develop Brunei’s health system.

“In actual fact most of their ideas are really good. Now we just have to find the way forward, and how we can implement these ideas (here),” said the minister, adding that most of the ideas were derived from their practice overseas in developed countries.

“Although, they (doctors) have to take into account that other countries have their ways while our country has ours, (the issue is) how can we implement those ideas into our country’s context where we practice the MIB (Malay Muslim Monarchy) concept,” he said.

He went on to say that the MoH will continue its efforts towards ensuring the processes are “smooth sailing” for doctors when they arrive in Brunei upon the completion of their studies overseas.

“We have to ensure that when they come back later, they don’t wait long while trying to find a place to stay and that they (do not) linger long on daily pay (rather than given monthly pay),” he said.

The minister also stated other reasons that may be the cause of doctors ending their government service.

“It may be due to personal family affairs. It could be doctors that have families only wanting to do part-time service…. It could be that they have secured a job overseas (and they) want to reside in that particular country rather than come back to Brunei,” said YB Dato Paduka Dr Hj Zulkarnain.

The Brunei Times