Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Local Bruneian Doctors at RIPAS Hospital

As requested by one of our readers, here are the compiled number of local doctors working at RIPAS hospital as of March 2011.

These are not official figures from the MoH or PGATB database, but are information kindly collected from our peers and colleagues working here at RIPAS Hospital. The table figures also does not take into account the doctors who have not returned back to Brunei yet, and the junior doctors in their Specialty rotation who have not decided on a specialty yet and those still doing the Foundation year training programme.

In summary there are approximately 30 local specialists in Brunei, but as you can tell there is still a large void in local talents that needs to be filled up. Around 30+ local trainees are currently undergoing trainee abroad mainly in Singapore, and a few others scattered in the UK, Australia, Malaysia and Germany, and about 27 still awaiting to be trained.

Hopefully this information will be useful to our local boys and girls out there in planning for their specialty training. Word of advice would be to try and secure specialty training whilst you are still abroad if you have already decided what you want to do. Trying to go from Brunei will be difficult because we are running out of training places even in Spore, and currently we only recognize UK, Spore, Australia and U.S. 'Advance level Training' and the others are case by case basis for e.g. Germany. If you have manage to secure a place yourself abroad, please let PGATB know to find out if that institution will be recognized when you want come back home.

The incentive to be trained as a specialist would be the new scheme of service which start Consultant's pay at $12,000 (including On-call allowances and M allowance) and up till $18,000. Currently we are still on the Old Scheme of Service which we are still awaiting to be migration. The details of the new scheme is still sketchy, and no official memo have been released as yet from our ministry, but we will keep you posted of any further progress.


Anonymous said...

Is it true there is going to be a differential payscale for locals and expats with the new scheme?

bapa said...

interesting blog... whoever is looking at pay and pay differentials should take into account the total cost of employment locals vs expats esp in view of the difference in gratuity rates and TAP plus SCP ie end of contract vs retirement benefits package.

in gulf countries eg dubai, locals are paid +30% basic vs expats ie package recognise total cost plus encourage locals to work in uae.

Anonymous said...

Does the estimated no. of specialists still required take into account the current no. of local trainee/trainee abroad/no. of people awaiting training?

messdoctor said...

So far there is no indication that the pay scheme will be different between locals and expat, however we will only be able to confirm once the new scheme is implemented.

Dear Bapa, what you've mentioned is absolutely true. Currently our scheme of service and even the new one may not to be able to address the fact that the locals still get paid less than the expat when you take into consideration the gratuity. However We used to have a scheme which was very rewarding to the locals once upon a time called 'pension' :)
but since that was stopped since 1993, we've been on TAP. Interestingly bapa, 4 years ago we tried to appeal for pensions to be returned to the doctors. The reason was to try and close the gap between the expats and locals pay and also to encourage more locals to take up medicine. An alternative scheme similar like the UAE doctors i.e. basic plus 30% to equate was also proposed, but eventually after years of negotiation and tons of paperwork, we finally agreed on the New Scheme of Service. Alhamdulillah, it's a worthwhile effort and we manage to increase the pay by about 20-25% across the board.

The estimated number of trainees still required is based on the number of current specialists and also taking into account the average attrition rate of local brunei doctors. For e.g. orthopaedics we need at least 6 specialists for the whole country (we have 4 at the moment) but we aim for 7. Likewise other specialties. We've included as many trainees that we know of, including those abroad and about to come back. I think for a more precise figures best to contact PGATB, Dr Elizabeth Chong's office, they would have the latest and most updated.

Anonymous said...

Brunei won't attract the best expat specialist doctors in future as in term of pay/incentives any more. Can see many expat doctors including specialits come and go in recent years and comming near future there will be a lot of expats to leave.
Hope to see all hospitals and clinics in Brunei run by local doctors only.

bapa said...

as a rough comparison, expats get 25% of base pay as gratuity paid out at end of contract every 3 years.

they also get housing, transport, contract passages for family, schooling etc.

locals get 5% TAP contribution and 3.5% SCP (capped to a max amount), plus annual bonus of half month base salary which equates to 4.17%pm.

thus the difference between expats and locals in retirement/end of service benefits is about 12.33% ie equivalent to about 1.5 months pay (bonus/annual wage supplement) per year.

the previous pensions scheme was very generous indeed, with a minimum 1/3 last drawn salary (plus gratuity/baksis) giving an equivalent 33.33%pm, with a bonus for longevity ie upon reaching 70yrs of 2/3 last drawn salary...

kuwait has one of the most generous pensions scheme in the world, it is their way of sharing the oil wealth.

as for how many local doctors we need, we should not take the pipeline approach... instead we should offer every Bruneian youngsters the best they can be according to their potential.

we should aim for the top 2% of our population to be trained as doctors and other professionals like architects, lawyers, accountants and engineers.

assume unlimited opportunities to help realise individuals full potential, and aim to create a surplus of doctors beyond our localisation needs.

the "surplus" will allow movement of our specialists to the private sector, and contribute to medical tourism, and can charge like dr susan lim!

and Bruneian specialists doctors can serve in the UN or other international bodies, thus realising our vision2035 ie Bruneians as highly accomplished people....

others will move into education, politics, other public sectors and enter businesses etc etc thus enriching and diversifying Bruneians life.


messdoctor said...

Thank you for your comments everyone, very interesting observations & suggestions have been higlighted indeed and hopefully someone out there will realize it sooner, because so much can be gained when we work together and listen to ideas proposed not just from the top but also take into consideration the people working at the frontline.

Ad said...

Great post. Thanks very much for helping get information regarding specialties. I did have another question, does anyone have any idea about housing? Like how long before you get a place? Do you get a few to choose from? Etc.
Thanks again for being a reliable source of updated information.