Friday, March 11, 2016

More specialists needed to meet demand, says health minister

The government aims to increase the number of specialist doctors each year from 450 to 1,000 to overcome the shortage of such doctors in government hospitals nationwide. Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said the problem must be addressed immediately, as there was a shortage in the number of specialists present in 142 hospitals located in small towns. "The (current) total is not enough. For example, in the field of neurosurgery, Malaysia only has 47 specialists in hospitals like Sungai Buloh, Johor Baru, Ipoh, Penang, Kuching and Sibu. "This means there are other hospitals in small towns which (still) require expertise in this field... and others. I expect the increase of 1,000 specialist doctors will fill the need for specialists in the country by 2018," he told reporters today. He said at present, 819 doctors had been chosen to participate in the masters programme in seven universities in the country which offer 23 fields of specialisation. In addition, Dr Subramaniam said the ministry had in 2014 established the "Parallel Pathway" to be made into a specialist training programme which was more structured. In another development, he reminded the public to keep their surroundings clean to prevent the breeding of Aedes mosquitoes. "The 2,007 cases of dengue this week is a good sign, if it remains, despite a forecast that the number of cases will increase, due to the El Nino phenomenon," he said. Dr Subramaniam said mosquito eggs could survive in a dry place for up to six months, and only required one drop of water to hatch and become larvae. – Bernama, March 11, 2016.]]>

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