Not enough child neurologists in country, says health minister

Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad says his ministry has always been supportive in continuing professional development programmes for its healthcare providers.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia does not have enough child neurologists to serve the 9.4 million children aged below 18 nationwide, Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad said today.

He said there were now 22 child neurologists but only nine of them were working in government hospitals.

Such specialists usually deal with conditions such as cerebral palsy, epilepsy, brain injury and hypoxia.

“This is grossly inadequate to serve the 9.4 million children aged under 18, who form 29% out of 32.4 million population of Malaysia, based on the recommended norm of 1 per 100,000,” Dzulkefly said.

He said there were only nine paediatricians specialised in development — which involves dealing with learning disabilities and physical disabilities.

“I hope more young paediatricians take up this challenging yet rewarding field of specilisation,” he said at the 15th Asian and Oceanian Congress of Child Neurology here today.

He said the ministry had always been supportive in continuing professional development programmes for its specialists and other allied healthcare providers.

“Advances in child neurology and related fields are changing the lives of our most precious treasures — the many little children with various neurological conditions.

“These are helping them to overcome life’s challenges while attaining their utmost potential in the future.”