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Doctors in Burma

Burma's doctors to work three years for government

    RANGOON, Oct 12 (Reuter) - The Burmese health ministry will require all
medical school graduates to work for the government for at least three years
before they can travel abroad, according to a new regulation. 
    The regulation signed by Health Minister Vice Admiral Than Nyunt on
Tuesday was aimed at speeding up the implementation of the country's health
care programme, Burma's state-run media said. 
    Burma faces a continuing shortage of doctors and other trained medical
staff with only 12,245 physicians for a population of 44 million, according
to a report earlier this year by the ministry of national planning and
economic development. 
    Four medical institutions, one of which is attached to the defence
ministry, turn out about 1,000 new doctors every year after a seven-year
training programme that includes one year at a hospital. One of the
institutions specialises in dental surgery. 
    The new move is aimed at keeping young doctors in Burma for a longer
period following their graduation. 
    Past experience showed that Burmese medical graduates could command a
high price abroad and hundreds left to join Western teaching hospitals or to
work in developing countries in Africa and Asia after the military government
liberalised travel restrictions in 1988. 
    A recent advertisement for public service doctors attracted no more than
about 30 applications for some 300 jobs, according to medical sources in

Transmitted: 94-10-12 01:08:47 EDT