Number of housemen plummets by half since 2019


PETALING JAYA: Following a drop in medical graduates, the number of housemen at the Health Ministry has dwindled by 50% since 2019.

The decline has also caused a maldistribution of housemen in various government hospitals that offer housemanship.

According to data from the ministry’s Human Resources Division sighted by The Star, there were 6,134 housemen in 2019, followed by 4,934 in 2020, 4,173 (2021), 3,245 (2022) and 3,271 (2023).

Similarly, the provisional registration of medical graduates with the Malaysian Medical Council (MMC) also dropped by half.

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In 2017, there were 6,147 medical graduates with a provisional registration, followed by 5,867 in 2018, 4,999 (2019), 5,218 (2020), 3,867 (2021) and 3,131 (2022).

These include graduates of local private and public universities, as well as graduates from medical schools abroad.

Provisional registration allows newly-qualified doctors to undertake the general clinical training needed for full registration under the Medical Act 1971.

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The number of medical graduates from local universities had also declined between 2017 and 2021.

In 2017, local universities produced 3,902 medical graduates, followed by 4,209 in 2018, 3,427 (2019), 3,202 (2020) and 2,667 (2021).

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad had acknowledged in a post on X on April 26 that there is a shortage of housemen.

“There was a time where there were 6,000-7,000 medical graduates a year.

“Now, we have a little over 3,000, which has led to fewer housemen at hospitals.

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“In fact, those who are working are feeling the burden due to the workload and manpower shortage,” Dzulkefly said.

He added that he had ordered the ministry’s top leadership at both the federal and state levels to look into the manpower situation at hospitals.

If required, the placement and duties of housemen will be re-evaluated, he said.

He said the ministry’s top management would closely monitor the situation and were cognisant of the workload of healthcare workers.

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