The targeted doctor-to-population ratio for Malaysia is1:400
Malaysia's doctor-to-population ratio 1:633(2014)
BUT...Sarawak's doctor-patient ratio is 1:1104 [as of April 2015]
Sabah's doctor-patient ration is 1:1,500 [as of May 2014]
“The problem is 30% of those who do housemanship need to extend their training, so they will take up the posts for new intake,” he said. Such delays, he added, could be due to housemen failing their training, resulting in extended training of between three and six months, depending on the hospital.
Healthcare should never be considered a 'business' - but an obligation and duty of a government to its people, and target should be to be able to provide FREE healthcare services, or where patients need only pay a minimum token payment of RM1-3.
Too many medical grads, too few housemanship spots
The 25-year-old Public Service Department (JPA) scholar, who graduated from Egypt's University of Mansoura, is among many medical graduates who have been waiting three to six months for housemanship placements, a situation caused by the high number of medical graduates.
Director-general of Health Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said there has been a significant increase in the number of graduates reporting for housemanship training in the last few years.
According to Health Ministry records, there were 3,564 medical graduates reporting for duty as housemen in 2011, and in 2012 (3,743), in 2013 (4,991) and last year (3,860). Many graduates held qualifications from medical schools overseas and their number has increased from 877 in 2008 to 1,600 in 2011.
In 2012, there were 1,563 graduates from foreign medical schools and this grew to 2,403 in 2013, Noor Hisham said.
“Although there are 32 institutions offering medical programmes in Malaysia, their intake is smaller in numbers compared with universities overseas,” he told The Malaysian Insider.
Of the 32 local institutions of higher education with medical programmes, 11 are government-run institutions and 21 are private.
Malaysians can also opt to study medicine in 36 countries which offer 360 foreign medical programmes approved by the Malaysian government.
To stabilise the number of medical graduates which has outstripped the number of housemanship placements available, the Health Ministry in 2011 imposed a moratorium on new local medical programmes and institutions of higher education offering such courses, Dr Noor Hisham said.
But there are still other reasons for the long waiting period, such as the availability of positions and the location of hospitals.
Additionally, 30% of housemen do not finish their training in the stipulated period.
Dr Noor Hisham said placements were easier to get in hospitals in Sabah and Sarawak, for which the wait was about one to two months. But housemen applications at hospitals in Kuala Lumpur usually had to wait for six months.
Medical graduates have the freedom to choose the hospital they want to do their housemanship.
“The problem is 30% of those who do housemanship need to extend their training, so they will take up the posts for new intake,” he said.
Such delays, he added, could be due to housemen failing their training, resulting in extended training of between three and six months, depending on the hospital.
“That’s why we have delays (in housemanship placements) as we cannot simply add new training sites.”
There are 43 government hospitals, three of which are university hospitals, providing housemanship.
Better planning is needed to remedy the situation and to prevent unemployment among trained medical personnel, former Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) president Dr H. Krishna Kumar said.
Also, Malaysia has not met the desired doctor-to-population ratio of 1:400, despite having so many medical graduates. As of last year, the ratio was 1:633 among registered doctors in Malaysia.
He said foreign medical programmes had contributed to the competition between local and overseas graduates.
“Local and overseas graduates want to work here and they have to compete with each other, it is a matter of first come, first serve at the moment.”
He said joblessness among medical graduates was a worrying trend that could lead to medical practitioners setting up unregulated practices.
He said it was important for the government to have a proper planning to address the issue, despite there already being a moratorium on new medical programmes.
“We already met the government and we want them to reduce the number of universities or reduce the intake.”
It did not help, he added, that people tended to view the medical profession as one where big money could be made straight away. – July 18, 2015, Malaysian Insider.
Published on: Thursday, April 23, 2015
Kuching: The doctor-patient ratio is 1:1104 currently in Sarawak which still lacks doctors, said state Public Health Assistant Minister Datuk Dr Jerip Susil.
He said the main challenge faced in providing medical services in Sarawak was to dispense efficient and effective health services in line with the requests of the people.
"This requires more medical officers and specialists to be placed in hospitals and health clinics statewide with sufficient health facilities." he said when replying to Hazland Abang Hipni (BN-Demak Laut) at the Sarawak state legislative assembly here Wednesday.
Dr Jerip said there were 2,237 doctors serving in Sarawak and, of the total, 1,7759 worked in government hospitals and clinics while 478 with private hospitals and clinics. He said 30 per cent of these doctors were from the peninsular.
"Due to the lack of doctors in the state, the Health Ministry encourages more doctors from the peninsular to come and serve as well as stay longer," he said.
According to Dr Jerip, doctors and medical specialists serving in the state would receive special allowances and could get promoted faster.
"However this method has its advantages and disadvantages because normally doctors from the peninsular who are promoted while serving in the state will immediately apply to return to the peninsular," he said.
Meanwhile Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Alfred Jabu, who is also Sarawak Modernisation of Agriculture Minister, said three permanent food production parks had been implemented by the Sarawak Agriculture Department starting 2009.
Replying to Mohammad Razi Sitam (BN-Saribas), he said up to date 29 participants had been involved in bananas, papayas and vegetables cultivation with agricultural produce exceeding five metric ton from January to August last year.
Jabu said the state government was still studying the need to create a Temenggong post for the Muslim community in Kapit division. Replying to George Lagong (Independent-Pelagus), he said currently the Muslim community in Kapit were being represented by a pemanca and three penghulu.
Meanwhile Sarawak Early Childhood and Family Development Assistant Minister Rosey Yunus said the overall average attendance of students for four secondary schools in Telang Usan was higher than the state and national percentage of 95 per cent except for SMK Tutoh Apoh (87.53 per cent).
Replying to Dennis Ngau (BN-Telang Usan), she said among the causes for low attendance in SMK Tutoh Apo was because many students enrolled late in January and February, as well the hysteria incident that forced the student to return to their home. – Bernama
Rosey said the other four schools overall average attendance were SMK Long Bedian (96 per cent), SMK Temengong Datuk Oyong Lawai Jau (96.2 per cent), SMK Long Lama (96.22 per cent) and SMK Tinjar (95.86 per cent). – Bernama - Daily Express, 23/4/2015
Its director, Dr. Christina Rundi said the current ratio is 1:1,500, and admitted that the target of 1:400 is still far from achievement.
“Sabah with a population of over 3.5 million is the second largest state in Malaysia. It is obvious that we need more doctors to reach the target.
“We are calling for more medical officers to take the opportunity in becoming specialist as we are also facing a shortage of specialists in Sabah,” she said this to reporters in a press conference after launching 1st Borneo Paediatrics and Paediatric Surgery Conference at Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) School of Medicine, yesterday.
Rundi, in her speech earlier also expressed her appreciation to the university for its contribution towards improving the doctor-patient ratio.
“In the past 20 years, UMS has genuinely advanced the causes of Sabahan healthcare and medical research.
The opening of its Medical School has seen many batches of graduates, and some of whom are already specialist with the Ministry of Health.
“We at Sabah State Health Department would like to thank the UMS School of Medicine for all its contributions towards improving the ratio,” she said, adding that UMS School of Medicine has almost produced 400 graduates since the medical school’s inception in 2003.
During the two days’ conference which ended yesterday, a total of 493 local and international participants had benefited from the working papers presented by experienced doctors.
Rundi said the department hoped the conference would be the beginning of many more collaborations, both with paediatric surgeons and paediatricians from other countries, and with many institutes of higher learning to further improve knowledge of the medical team in Sabah in treating and managing their patients.
Also present at the event yesterday were Sabah Women and Children’s Hospital, hospital director Dr Tan Bee Hwai and UMS dean of School of Medicine Dr D Kamarudin D Mudin.
Kamarudin, in his welcoming speech, said the conference marked another step in the school’s medical education, continuing professional development in collaboration with specialist clinicians from two different countries, Australia and New Zealand.
“It is a great encouragement to see so many health professionals from around the country, representing diverse backgrounds and experiences, gather here at UMS to share as well as pursue knowledge.
“We hope all the participants will be able to forge lasting and productive friendships and working relationships through this event, and we also hope that it will spark off inter-state and inter-institutional collaborations for many years to come,” he said.
On the first day, seven presentations were shared with the participants, namely Congential Heart Disease: Facts We Should Know by UMS paediatric cardiologist Associate Prof Dr Asmiati Hamid, Neonata; Cardiac Emergencies by Queen Elizabeth II paediatric cardiologist Dr Siva Rao, An Overview of Cardiac Surgery in Congenital Heart Disease by Queen Elizabeth Hospital II consultant cardiothoracic surgeon Dr Abu Bakar Mamat, Approach To A Collapsed Child by Sabah Women and Children Hospital consultant paediatrician Dr Matthew Chong, Acute Encephalopathy in Children by Sabah Women and Children’s Hospital paediatric neurologist Dr Heng Hock Sin, Paediatric Rehabilitation by UMS rehabilitation physician Associate Prof Dr Khin Nyein Yin and Child Protection Issues by Sabah Women and Children’s Hospital consultant in community paediatrics Dr Fauziah Zainal Abidin.
Meanwhile, another seven papers were presented on the final day yesterday by Associate Prof Dr Deborah Bailey from Australia (Transportation of Ill Children and Management of Burns in Children), Dr Phillip Morreau from New Zealand (Recent Advances and Management of Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia & Congenital Lung Lesion and Recent Advances and Management of Necrotizing Enterocolitis), Dr Abdul Latiff from Wagga Wagga Australia (Paediatric Airway Emergencies), Janice Hui Ling from Brunei (Diagnosis and Management of Neonatal Obstruction) and Celine Hamid from Wagga Wagga Australia (Diagnosis and Management of Abdominal Pain in Children).