Retired doctors could be roped in if Covid-19 cases spike, says health minister

The government says there is no excuse not to rope in retired doctors and doctors from the Armed Forces if there is a drastic increase in number of Covid-19 cases.

KUALA LUMPUR: Health Minister Dr Adham Baba says the government is prepared to rope in retired doctors and medical officers from the Armed Forces if there is a drastic spike in the number of Covid-19 cases in the country.

However, he said such a decision would only be made if there is a pressing need.

“If there is a drastic rise in the number of (Covid-19) cases, like certain other countries, then we have no excuse not to rope them in to help us,” he told RTM’s Bicara Naratif programme aired live on TV1 last night.

At the moment, he said, there were still enough doctors to deal with the Covid-19 situation as well as other health-related matters.

He said this includes the ministry’s efforts to station 1,000 trainee doctors at 44 hospitals nationwide to help smoothen daily operations and lighten the load of existing doctors.

The ministry has also employed 830 contract nurses, increasing the workforce capacity at 135 government hospitals in response to the sharp increase in Covid-19 cases last week.

Adham also said he was hopeful that Malaysia could be among the countries capable of developing a vaccine for Covid-19.