Mon, 26 Jun 2000

Local doctors concentrate on making money, not on research

JAKARTA (JP): Indonesian doctors tend to ignore scientific work and devote themselves to making money, a medical observer said on Saturday.

Former chairman of the Indonesian Doctors Association Kartono Mohammad said fewer quality medical scientific reports had been produced in the last decade, placing the country far behind other Southeast Asian countries like Singapore and Thailand.

"Every year, thousands of doctors in Singapore and Thailand write in local and international scientific journals, while here, not even 100 doctors do so," Kartono said upon announcing winners of Medika Awards for 1998 and 1999 presented by Medika medical journal.

"We even lag behind Malaysia, whereas in 1970s some of our medical professors gave lectures there," added Kartono, who is chief editor of the journal.

The annual awards were given to doctors and students who wrote the best reports in the journal. The competition was divided into three categories: essay, content analysis and field report. There are three prizes for each category.

The panel of jurists failed to chose winners for this year's content analysis as no reports met the standards.

"We want to upgrade this event to be more prestigious. So, the winner must be highly qualified," head of the panel of jurists, A.A. Loedin, said.

None of the award recipients this year came from Jakarta, despite the abundant facilities in the city which contest participants could use, said Loedin.

Kartono blamed difficulties in accessing new foreign literature for the low interest of medical professionals to write reports.

"There are very limited medical journals as a result of the government's decision to abandon the budget to buy new journals," he said.

In comparison, Malaysia adds up to 5,000 titles of medical journals and books every year.

"The Malaysian government also gives 6,000 ringgit a month to doctors who want to conduct research. And the research will not necessarily be used by the government," he added. (09)