BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN: The first meeting of the 13th Legislative Council session continued on its 9th day yesterday focusing on matters and issues pertaining to the Ministry of Health. Among the issues raised was a local specialist doctor. According to Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr. Awang Haji Zulkarnain bin Haji Hanafi, the Minister of Health, the average number of local doctors is currently at 47 percent, brudirect reported.
What is even more encouraging is the fact that the number of specialist doctors or consultants is greater than experts from outside the country. To help increase this number, the Minister of Health explained that his ministry has collaborated with Universiti Brunei Darussalam to provide training to local doctors through the Master in Medicine programme starting from last January. Yang Berhormat stated the matter in response to a query posed regarding the expertise of local doctors.
To ensure that the number of local doctors is sufficient, Yang Berhormat said the country needs to produce at least 30 to 40 doctors every year. In view of this, Universiti Brunei Darussalam has introduced a medical course, which requires students to spend 3 years in Brunei and the next three years at a renowned university. Touching on the issue of local nurses, Yang Berhormat said that the average number of local nurses is around 91 percent, where only 9 percent are expatriates. Yang Berhormat however noted the importance of having expatriate nurses so as to provide a benchmark and for local’s nurses to learn more from.