KUCHING: The Health Ministry should post more medical graduates to do housemanship in Sarawak hospitals, the Sarawak branch of the Malaysian Medical Association said.
Its chairman, Prof Dr Sim Kui Hian, said out of more than 1,000 housemen last year, only 36 reported for duty in Sarawak.
Dr Sim said Sarawak seemed to have difficulties attracting medical personnel.
He added that many Sarawak-born medical specialists were also not returning to serve the state.
Unless we have a concrete plan of action involving the state, Sarawak Health Department and the association, the problem will persist, he said at the associations installation dinner here.
Sarawak Governor Tun Abang Muhammad Salahuddin and Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr George Chan Hong Nam were present at the event.
Australia-trained Dr Sim, who now heads the Sarawak General Hospital cardiology department, suggested that the state authorities provide incentives or allowances to attract doctors to the state.
He said Kuching urgently needed a second general hospital to cope with the increasing number of patients.
He said the Sarawak General Hospital, which is under refurbishment, would have fewer beds when the exercise was completed in two months.
We simply do not have enough beds now. We are still using 1960s canvas beds in this hospital.
Dr Chan said the state wanted to make the state capital a medical hub, and to provide specialist advice to smaller hospitals via the telemedicine concept.