Thursday, September 21, 2017

Health ministry urges doctors to return home

The Minister for Health has called on trained medical professionals living abroad to return to Myanmar and contribute their services to improve the health sector.

Speaking at a meeting of the Myanmar Academy of Medical Science held at the University of Nursing on October 7, Dr Pe Thet Khin said President U Thein Sein, the government and the minister would welcome the return of all Myanmar medical experts living in other countries, regardless of their reasons for leaving Myanmar.

He said their expertise was sorely needed in community development programs but conceded that for many it would mean sacrificing higher-paid jobs abroad.

“We are now working to promote the development of the medical sector and need human resources – their ideas and techniques. I think it is time for all to contribute for the country’s future,” he said.

“Some of my friend inquired whether they would get the same salary and facilities they get in foreign countries. We can’t guarantee that … but if they want to work for the country with us, please come and contribute,” he said.

“There would be many doctors and medical experts in other countries … they went abroad for their career progression,” he said.

“But now it is a busy time to work for the country,” the minister said, adding that the new government was putting more priority on the health sector.

Myanmar Academy of Medical Science president Dr Myo Myint said the academy would invite both retired and working medical professionals to contribute to government health projects.

“In the past, when you were 50 or 60 you retired [from government service]. That usually meant you went and worked in the private sector or went abroad. It’s a kind of brain-drain … we welcome all retired medical experts to contribute,” he said, adding that most of the academy’s members were retired.

The academy plans to undertake several projects in 2011-12, including an awareness raising program on medical ethics, a snake bite control pilot project and promotion of effective and affordable fluoride toothpaste.