Parliament: Doctors leaving public sector at slower rate, says Lam Pin Min

SINGAPORE - Doctors are leaving the public sector at a slower rate, following moves to boost their pay and improve career opportunities, said Minister of State for Health Lam Pin Min on Monday.

In 2011, 6.5 per cent of doctors left the public sector, compared to 5.8 per cent in 2014.

At the same time, the number of doctors working in the public healthcare clusters has grown by 34 per cent, to about 6,500.

These come amid recent moves to retain good doctors within the public healthcare sector, said Dr Lam in response to a parliamentary question from Nominated MP and sports physician Benedict Tan.

A new pay framework was implemented in two phases in 2012 and 2014, to pay doctors in the public sector more competitively.

"Following the review, our public healthcare institutions are now more aligned in terms of principles and structures of doctors' remuneration while retaining some flexibility to manage individual packages for talent retention purposes," said Dr Lam.

Beyond pay, the public healthcare sector also supports doctors' professional and personal growth, by giving them opportunities for continuing training and development, he said.

At the same time, to improve the work environment for doctors, the sector has taken steps to shorten rotating shifts, set aside time for structured learning, and adopt IT to streamline and minimise administrative workload.