10,600 posts need to be created to ease shortage of staff in hospitals

The proposal to increase the number of medical staff has received positive feedback from Cuepacs, the Malaysian Medical Association, various agencies and MPs, says deputy minister. (Bernama pic)

IPOH: The health ministry has submitted a request to the federal government for 10,675 additional posts in government hospitals and clinics nationwide.

Its deputy minister, Dr Lee Boon Chye said this was to address the shortage of positions, especially medical staff, in the Emergency Department, including the shortage of doctors, pharmacists and dentists.

“We have submitted applications recently and we hope that it can be approved next year to ease the situation.

“So, we hope the Public Service Department (JPA) will consider this so that we can improve health services for all people in the country,” he told reporters after launching the Blood Donation programme organised by the Raja Permaisuri Bainun Hospital visiting board at a shopping centre here today.

Lee said that the proposal to increase the number of medical staff had also received positive feedback from the Congress of the Unions of Employees in the Public Civil Service (Cuepacs), the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) and several other agencies.

“In fact, when I presented this matter in the Dewan Rakyat recently, it was not only approved by Pakatan Harapan MPs but by the opposition as well.”

Dr Le Boon Chye.

He said over the past few years, the recruitment of medical staff had been limited and the increase in staff strength was disallowed despite the presence of new hospitals, clinics and services.

He said the existing staff was not sufficient to provide increased services, especially as the number of patients had increased, putting more pressure on the staff.

“We strongly hope that the recruitment freeze in the health ministry will be lifted so that more posts can be added as needed,” he said.

Earlier, MMA president Dr N Ganabaskaran had said the staff shortage was due to the growing medical sector, with the opening of new hospitals and clinics, which meant doctors were required to work longer hours while nurses had to work double shifts.