JOHOR BARU: The Johor Health Department is facing a lack of almost 2,800 medical personnel, doctors and nurses in particular, says Mentri Besar Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi.
He said he brought up the matter during a meeting with state health and unity committee chairman Ling Tian Soon and Health Ministry acting director-general Datuk Seri Norazman Ayub recently.
"It is my hope that the ministry can consider filling these positions as soon as possible to meet the needs and ensure the well-being and health of the people of Johor," he said in a Facebook post on Tuesday (May 23).
Onn Hafiz, who is also Machap assemblyman, added that he asked the ministry to look at ways to ease congestion at public hospitals in the state, especially at Hospital Sultanah Aminah (HSA) and Hospital Sultan Ismail (HSI).
On Monday (May 21), Ling said the ministry should consider adding staff at HSI's emergency and trauma department to reduce patients' waiting time.
He added that at present, seven to nine doctors are on duty each shift and have to divide their attention among the red, yellow, green and asthma zones.
"When the yellow and red zones have too many patients, the doctors are unable to tend to those in the green zone, resulting in a longer wait for patients there.
"I will also suggest to the ministry to extend operating hours at the health clinic beside HSI to tend to non-emergency cases to take some pressure off the hospital.
"I spoke to some of the patients and their family members waiting there and found that they had been waiting for more than two hours to receive medical attention," he said.
Ling added that the green zone should have more chairs and damaged ones should be replaced.