DEPUTY Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahaya said houseman training hospitals will open up more slots for housemanship.
“At the moment, we have a total of 10,835 housemen in 44 teaching hospitals and Royal Military Hospitals nationwide.
“The ministry plans to include Hospital Shah Alam and Hospital Langkawi in the list of houseman training hospitals.
“These hospitals have stated that they are willing to increase the number of training slots for housemen,” he told Teresa Kok (DAP-Seputeh).
Dr Hilmi added that the Public Service Commission had interviewed 3,474 medical graduates as at December 2016, with 1,687 of them already placed in hospitals.
On the issue of too many medical graduates in Malaysia, he said the existing moratorium on new medical programmes at tertiary education institutions would restore balance in demand and supply.
“Under the moratorium, we have been able to ensure there will be no more new medical courses on top of the 44 programmes already in place locally,” he said.
“However, we cannot stop potential students from enrolling in the 335 accredited tertiary institutions overseas,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Health Ministry is preparing a working paper for approval to import generic drugs for the treatment of Hepatitis C.
Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said this was to import sofosbuvir which was much cheaper compared to sofosbuvir innovator. He said the estimated cost to treat Hepatitis C using sofosbuvir in combination with other medications could reach up to RM300,000 per patient.
“Due to the high cost, the ministry has been looking into ways to increase access for Hepatitis C treatment in Malaysia.
“One way to get cheaper sofosbuvir is by using government rights where Malaysia gets to import the generic medicine at a cheaper price,” he said in a written reply to Charles Santiago (DAP-Klang).
Dr Subramaniam said since 2003 until last December, a total of 20,023 Hepatitis C cases were reported.
Last year, he said, 3,393 new cases were reported with a notification rate of 8.58 for every 100,000 people.