Medicine School Too Selective, Creates Shortages For Foreigners To Fill

By Zen On 3 Oct, MOH released a statement regarding their plan to hire 180 doctors from India. They have always been hiring doctors from other nationalities. This time, they are ramping up the hires to solve the workload issues that the doctors have been having ever since COVID.

Having more foreigners come in to fill the gap does not solve the problem in the long run.

Most other healthcare systems in first world nations will offer healthcare professionals better pay and benefits. Hence, many foreign doctors use Singapore as a stepping stone, and will leave us as soon as they can find something better.

Basically, this is only a short term solution.

The main reasons why we are not having enough local healthcare professionals:

Many locals who dream of becoming doctors but fail to get into medicine schools here have had to go overseas instead. Perhaps it is time to change our quotas for medical students here. Why are we putting such a high barrier to entry for medical school for our locals (to the point of rejecting straight A students), whereas foreigners who get into medical schools with lower entry points are easily getting medical jobs here?

For the longer term, we should start thinking about how we can ensure that local students with a passion for medicine should be able to pursue this career.

“Does it really make sense for medicine to be so selective when this creates shortages that have to be made up by taking in foreign graduates who while, well qualified, did not get perfect grades and come from schools that are not as kiasu about selectivity?”