Health ministry intends to take in more contract nurses

Nurses are in short supply in government hospitals, especially in intensive care units.

SERDANG: The health ministry is going to increase the number of contract nurses to serve at government hospitals and clinics.

Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad said this was necessary to meet the current shortage.

“The ministry has applied to the Public Service Department (JPA) to increase the quota,” he told reporters after attending National Nurses Day celebrations today.

He said 2,520 contract nurses were expected to be appointed.

Dzulkefly said 980 positions for permanent appointments as nurses were being filled at present.

He said, at the moment, the ideal ratio for nurses to serve their patients is 1:200, in line with the World Health Organization’s recommendation, but in Malaysia, the ratio is 1:302.

Dzulkefly said there were not enough nurses to serve the patients in hospital wards and even intensive care units (ICU) where one nurse should be taking care of one patient.

“Now, we have one nurse to serve four patients (in ICU),” he added.