Tue, 21 Mar 2000

Problem of newly graduated doctors

Referring to the article What's up, Doc? by Carl Chairul in The Jakarta Post on March 5, 2000, I would like to make some comments.

In my opinion, the vicious circle of the health service is caused in some part by "out-of-date" health regulations which do not fit in with the current situation and hence need to be reevaluated.

Rizal, a newly graduated medical doctor who does not come from a wealthy family, is obliged to work in a remote village in Sulawesi as a "temporary" civil servant. Rizal is only one example and there are many of his colleagues who share the same fate. What if the doctor is a woman and not yet married?

Besides the expenses, studying in medical school is very difficult. A friend of mine, a doctor, went to medical school for 10 years and now he is working in Abepura, Irian Jaya, where he makes little money.

The points brought up by Carl Chairul have been voiced by numerous people about greedy doctors whose character flaws could be detected during psychological tests before they are admitted to medical school.

The surgeon who hastily diagnosed appendicitis without checking supporting data (laboratory tests, etc.) does not meet medical standards. Abdominal pain, even in the lower right side, does not always indicate appendicitis. It may be caused by an infection, and hence could be treated with antibiotics.

I agree with Dr. Iwan Darmansah that the government should intervene to solve the problems faced by new doctors. Out-of-date health regulations should be reviewed, and if necessary replaced with new regulations that would allow newly graduated doctors automatically to be given their licenses to practice. While compulsory service for doctors should effect only those who are being considered for promotion to full-time civil servants as a reward.


Cimahi, West Java