SINGAPORE - The Ministry of Health (MOH) is reviewing the residency programme for doctors introduced in 2010 to help speed up training for specialist doctors in the country.
Announcing this on Saturday (Sept 30), Senior Minister of State for Health Chee Hong Tat said the Government wants to retain the positive elements of the residency programme while taking concrete steps to address the problems encountered and improving the outcomes for doctors.
"We have to be honest and acknowledge that while the residency programme has its advantages and good points, some of the outcomes have not been as positive in practice as what we had originally hoped for," said Mr Chee.
"As with all major changes, what could have been better was a more gradual, step-wise implementation, with appropriate channels to acknowledge concerns of the medical fraternity, and to consider the impact of the changes from a holistic systems perspective."
He did not elaborate on what the positives and problems of the programme are.
"For this effort to succeed, we need to work closely with our professional bodies and doctors to listen to your feedback and see what we can do together to enhance the system," said Mr Chee.
He was speaking at a ceremony where about 400 doctors took the Physician's Pledge to affirm their commitment to the duty of care and responsibilities towards patients and the medical profession.
The announcement comes after MOH had urged more young doctors to be trained in "generalist" fields under the residency programme earlier in September.
In response, some readers wrote in to The Straits Times, saying that the residency programme had a part to play in creating the situation now where there are too many specialists.