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Lure of the lucre for the clinical lecturers in M'sia

Publication Date : 20-05-2014


Ultimately, it is the lure of the ringgit. Clinical lecturers in public universities can earn up to five times more in private institutions, according to a medical faculty dean.

Those who stay on do so out of their passion to teach, said Universiti Malaya (faculty of medicine) dean Professor Dr Adeeba Kamarulzaman.

“We risk losing mid-level staff who are in their late 30s and early 40s.

“There are many local and international private hospitals and medical schools mushrooming and they are offering much more than what the lecturers are earning.

“Some, I heard, were offered salaries five times higher,” she said, adding that just a few months ago, a government-linked hospital held a recruitment drive for some 300 specialists.

She said that all public universities fear losing their clinical lecturers.

Last year, UM lost 21 of its clinical lecturers.

“At this rate, how long more can we hold on to our staff?” Dr Adeeba said yesterday.

Stressing that it was “not just about the money”, she said morale was low because of the heavy workload and slow promotion.

She called on the government to provide a better remuneration and promotion scheme, improved facilities, access to the latest drugs, and additional staff for public universities.

“The UM Medical Centre treated close to 1.1 million patients in 2013. We need more doctors.

“We enjoy teaching and publishing papers, but with the current workload, it is extremely taxing,” she said.

On Sunday, Malaysian Medical Association president Dr N.K.S. Tharmaseean said 38 senior clinical lecturers had left USM’s Kubang Kerian campus in Kelantan in the past six months.

Due to a severe shortage of lecturers, some reputable universities had suspended their clinical departments, he said.


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