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Published: Sunday March 24, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Wednesday April 24, 2013 MYT 1:52:38 PM

More male nurses, please

KUCHING: The Health Ministry will take in more men for nursing programmes in its training institutes to improve the ratio of male to female nurses.

Its training management department secretary Datuk Abu Bakar Othman said currently about 10% to 15% of nurses were men.

“We are in the process of increasing the number to reach 20%. For every intake we will ensure that there is an increase in the number of male trainees.

“Each year we take in about 3,000 students in two intakes, in January and July,” he told reporters after attending the launch of the “College in a Garden” programme at the Kuching Public Health College in Kota Sentosa yesterday.

He also said the number of trainees was based on projections for their demand.

“We don’t just plan to take say 1,000 trainees this year — no. It’s according to the human capital need,” he said.

Abu Bakar said there were sufficient nurses at the moment based on the size of hospitals in the country.

However, he said the demand for nurses varied from time to time depending on the number of patients.

“Sometimes there are too many patients so more nurses would be needed. Hospital directors need to ensure a good balance in allocating nurses according to the needs of each ward,” he said.

He added that the Government had agreed to take 6,727 trainee nurses from private colleges from now until 2015 to complement the nurses from the ministry’s training institutes.

Besides nursing, the institutes offer diploma and certificate programmes in various disciplines such as medical assistant, pharmacy assistant, dental assistant and dental technology.

Advanced diploma and certificate specialisation courses are also offered for Health Ministry staff in service.

At present 20,000 students are undergoing pre-service training while 2,000 staff are taking up specialisation courses.

There are 33 institutes nationwide, including four in Sarawak – two here and one each in Serian and Sibu.

Tags / Keywords: Community, News, Government, health ministry, male nurses, training institutes, abu bakar othman

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