REMBAU: It may be prudent to set up a health services commission for authorities to have some form of autonomy to fill and create jobs in the healthcare sector, says Khairy Jamaluddin.
"It's something I think we should look at. This will require some detailed discussion before it can be approved," said the Health Minister after presenting excellent service awards to teachers and staff at the Rembau Education Department here on Thursday (Aug 18).
Khairy said if an Education Service Commission could be set up for the education sector employees, there was no reason why one could not be created for the health sector, adding that there was a proposal made several years ago.
"If we have a health service commission, we won't have to fully rely on the Public Service Commission or the Public Service Department to create or fill vacancies.
"In fact, the Covid-19 pandemic has also exposed some gaps in our healthcare system and if it is time we set up a health commission to look into these," he said.
On a separate matter, Khairy admitted certain health facilities such as the Tunku Azizah Hospital in Kuala Lumpur have been facing a nurse shortage and efforts were being made to fill vacancies.
"There is a nurse shortage as there was a moratorium on training new ones several years ago. The shortage is also due to some nurses living for greener pastures abroad," he said, adding that he had told the ministry to train more nurses.
Khairy also pledged to look into other issues faced by nurses such as promotions.
He said some nurses with degrees have been stuck at their present grades for a long time.
"After having resolved the issue of contract doctors, my aim is to look at issues related to nurses," he said.