SEREMBAN: There is no moratorium on the intake of nurses, says the Public Service Department (PSD).
In fact, the department said approval had been given to a gradual intake of another 3,343 nurses following requests from the Health Ministry.
“There is no moratorium as the health sector is a critical one and important for education and security.
“Of the 3,343 positions approved, 1,200 would be taken in this year while the remaining 2,143 who are currently undergoing training at the ministry’s institutes would be hired on contract next year,” it said in a statement posted on its website.
The PSD said the nurses would initially be hired on a two-plus-two year contract.
“Those who are good will be absorbed permanently based on vacancies available,” it said.
The PSD said any additional requests for new nurses would depend on the government’s human resources policy and the ministry’s financial standing.
During last month’s International Nurses Day celebration, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad said the ministry had sought PSD’s approval to allow the employment of nurses, in spite of the moratorium placed on their appointment. This, he said, was important due to a shortage of nurses in government clinics and hospitals.
He said Malaysia also lacked nurses, given its ratio of one nurse per 300 patients, as opposed to the World Health Organization’s optimum number, which is one nurse per 200 patients.
“A moratorium is in place on the appointment of nurses but we are nevertheless applying for additional positions to be given for nurses.
“We hope that this will be approved within a reasonable period, when the economy improves,” he was quoted as saying.
He also said that there were 3,500 nurses waiting to be employed but there were only 980 vacancies.