Doctor-patient ratio exceeds target


  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 05 Aug 2020

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia has reached the doctor-patient workforce ratio recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO) for universal health coverage, said the Health Ministry.

The “Health Workforce Requirements For Universal Health Coverage And The Sustainable Development Goals” report by WHO had recommended a ratio of one healthcare worker, comprising a doctor and trained nurse, to every 225 people.“However, Malaysia at this point has reached the ratio of one healthcare worker (comprising a doctor and trained nurse) to every 186 people.

This is more than the recommended target by WHO to obtain better universal health coverage, ” Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba said.

He was replying to Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad (PH-Kuala Selangor), who asked to state the number of doctors who serve the Health Ministry and the doctor-patient ratio in Malaysia.

He had also asked if Malaysia intended to increase the number of doctors so that it would ideally be in line with WHO’s recommendation of one doctor for every 500 people.

Dr Adham said WHO or any international organisation had never set a certain ratio for the number of medical workers in any country.

“However, the ministry will take measures to increase the training capacity for medical, dentistry and pharmacy graduates, ” he added.

Dr Adham said there were 71,041 medical doctors working in both the public and private sectors here, hence the ratio of one doctor to every 454 Malaysians.

This, he said, was a better ratio than the 1:500 recommended by WHO.

From the 71,041, Dr Adham said 51,912 or 73% were working with the Health Ministry.

He also said that as of June 30, there were 11,059 dentists working in both the private and public sectors as well.

From that, some 6,530 were dentists registered and working with the Ministry.

Dr Adham said Malaysia had a ratio of one dentist to every 2,963 Malaysians.

As for pharmacists, he said there were 19,341 pharmacists in both the public and private sectors, which made the ratio of one pharmacist to every 1,694 Malaysians.

He also said from the total, there were 11,616 pharmacists registered and working with the Health Ministry.

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