‘Provide incentives for healthcare staff’

The construction of Hospital Pasir Gudang now stands at 73.8% and is expected to be completed in March next year. — Filepic

THE Federal Government should introduce special schemes for healthcare workers in southern Johor to help them cope with the rising living costs.

State health and environment committee chairman Ling Tian Soon said Johor was facing a critical shortage across its medical facilities.

The state’s proximity to Singapore also meant many workers were drawn to work in the republic due to its stronger currency, he said.

“According to employment data until April 30, 2024, a total of 2,389 positions in the healthcare field in Johor remain unfilled.

“This issue could escalate without proper planning for healthcare development. For instance, the upcoming operation of Hospital Pasir Gudang next year will require filling over 2,200 positions.

“This issue needs to be raised at the ministerial level.

“I’ve met with former and current ministers to propose for special schemes or incentives for staff working in southern Johor, where the cost of living is notably high,” Ling said during his winding-up speech at the state assembly sitting in Kota Iskandar.

He added that this was in line with the announcement from Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim regarding a proposed salary increase for civil servants that was expected to be implemented later this year.

“I hope the Federal Government will consider the suggestions put forth by the Johor state government,” he said.

In 2019, Ling said 6,134 housemen were working in hospitals across Malaysia, which played a crucial role in easing the workload of medical staff.

However, by 2023, this number dropped by 47% to 3,271.

“There’s a need to strengthen science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education in schools to attract students to fields like science and mathematics, thereby fostering interest in the medical profession among the younger generation,” he said.

On Hospital Pasir Gudang, Ling said construction of the project has reached 73.81%, surpassing the 63% target by 66 days.

The completion and handover of the hospital is expected on March 13, 2025, with operations set to start two months later.

The hospital would benefit over 900,000 residents in Pasir Gudang and its surrounding areas, he added.

“The state government remains committed to ensuring the successful and timely completion of Hospital Pasir Gudang.”

Additionally, the residents of Pasir Gudang will soon have a new Type 2 Health Clinic, with the construction of the Cendana Health Clinic.

“The project, costing RM36.7mil, is underway and expected to be completed by November this year,” said Ling.

The Cendana Health Clinic will provide various healthcare services to the residents, including outpatient services, maternal and child health services, dental services, emergency services, rehabilitation services, X-ray services, pathology laboratory services, among others.

On another matter, Ling said the Johor Elephant Sanctuary (JES) in Kota Tinggi was established to enhance elephant management in Johor, reducing wild elephant disturbances in agricultural areas and settlements.

“JES aims to reduce human- elephant conflicts by 50% within five years after the completion of the sanctuary project.

“Furthermore, to prevent wild elephants from entering villages, an RM8mil electric fence project has been approved and awaits approval from the Forestry Department.

“It will be constructed along the edge of the Panti Forest,” he said.

There were 155 cases of human-elephant conflict recorded in Johor last year, which resulted in crop damage, especially for those living near the wildlife habitats.

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Workers , Healthcare , Singapore , Ministry


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