MIRI: SPM and STPM school-leavers can go straight to nurses' training college soon.
The Health Ministry is drawing up plans with the Public Services Department to enable these youngsters to enter nursing colleges as soon as their examination results are announced.
Its parliamentary-secretary Datuk Lee Kah Choon said that at present school-leavers who were interested to sign up for the nursing courses must wait for about a year before they could apply to enter the colleges.
“Now, after the results are out in March, the next intake will only be opened in January the next year at the earliest.
“The ministry found that during this crucial waiting period we've lost many potential nursing students because they could not wait so long,” he told a press conference here yesterday.
He said the ministry wanted to make it more straightforward for youths to join the profession.
“The ministry is making plans to upgrade the nursing profession and we want to attract more people to join. We are fine-tuning the training programmes now.”
“We also want to attract more non-bumiputras to become nurses to reflect the true racial composition of our country. At the moment, 90% are bumiputras.
“Fresh nurses are given good deals now. A fresh nurse can get about RM1,600 per month, inclusive of benefits.
“During the three-year training, each will get a monthly allowance of RM600 plus lodging and uniform allowance.”
Lee said the huge imbalance in the nurses' racial ratio had created language problems with patients and staff shortage during major festive seasons.
He said the ministry would soon start a voluntary rotation system whereby specialists and doctors from the peninsula would be offered short stints in Sabah and Sarawak.
“We need to share our specialists and doctors and medical officers to overcome the serious shortage in these two states,” he added.
Lee said the ministry was also upgrading the telemedicine linkages between Sabah and Sarawak and the peninsula so that hospitals could assist each other via cyberspace.