Health DG: Expand surgical services

KOTA KINABALU: Surgical services in primary health care facilities need to be expanded and empowered, says Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

Surgical services in such facilities were low nationwide, he said, adding that the need to increase them was necessary to avoid overdependence and congestion in hospitals.

“There are clinics doing biopsies (extraction of sample cells or tissues for clinical tests), minor surgeries for lumps and bumps, among other minor procedures, but not many,” he told reporters after launching the 24th Family Medicine Scientific Conference here yesterday.

He said by empowering surgical healthcare at these facilities, the services can be provided widely in the community and help decongest hospitals.

He said there are some 8,000 posts for family medicine specialists (FMS), but so far, there are only over 1,000 on the ground serving the people.

“We have several hundred FMS in training throughout the country, but this is far from enough. We hope to place at least one or two FMS personnel in every clinic in the country.”

Dr Noor Hisham said the government could consider working with colleges from abroad to make up for the lack of manpower in this field, among other ways.

Earlier, in his opening speech, he said that FMS played an essential role in establishing primary care as an indispensable pillar of Malaysia’s healthcare system.

Dr Noor Hisham said that they worked well because they provided holistic, preventive, curative, rehabilitative, and end-of-life care in the community.

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