|Hospitals to recruit overseas medical students through pre employment grant|
|Monday, 15 March 2010 11:07|
SINGAPORE: Hospitals here are looking to recruit overseas medical students ahead of their graduation by offering them a pre—employment grant.
The idea was first raised by Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan last month as a measure to increase the pool of doctors in Singapore.
Sharing more details about the grant on his blog, Mr Khaw said they are testing out the sustainability of the idea and the hospitals are working out the details.
Some of the key components of this scheme could include, having the grant target Singaporeans studying in top medical schools recognised by the Singapore Medical Council in the last two years of their medical programme.
The selection will be based on merit and students must possess good grades especially in their clinical training years.
Mr Khaw said the grant could cover a significant part, say 60 per cent of the student’s tuition fees for the remaining years of study, and be capped at S$50,000 a year.
In return, the students will serve out a bond at the hospitals here, possibly for four years instead of the usual five as currently practiced by the NUS medical graduates.
Speaking on the sidelines of a community event, he said hospitals are not looking at big numbers in the move to attract overseas medical students by offering them pre—employment grants.
This is only one measure by the hospitals to expand the pool of doctors here.
Mr Khaw said: "I doubt numbers will be big because there are not so many (overseas medical students) outside of Singapore.
"How many will take up (the grants) will also depend on their own personal decisions. But if we can get back 10, get back 20, if 30 take up, why not?"
In 2007, there were less than 4,000 doctors in the public sector and today there are more than 4,600.
As more is being done to ramp up local training to reduce the shortage of doctors, Mr Khaw said he hopes that this pre—employment grant scheme may "become redundant" in the future.