Only 5% of public healthcare facilities have adequate manpower, says MMA

  • Nation
  • Monday, 27 May 2024

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) says it is deeply concerned over the distribution of manpower in public healthcare facilities.

MMA said an ad hoc poll conducted by its section concerning house officers, medical officers and specialists (Schomos) found that only 5% of public healthcare facilities have adequate manpower, with nearly half of respondents saying that shortages are due to doctors quitting or being transferred out.

"We urge the Health Ministry to conduct a comprehensive study with transparent publication of results of the public healthcare manpower and workload to tackle the issue," said MMA president Dr Azizan Abdul Aziz in a statement on Monday (May 27).

"On the reasons for lack of manpower, nearly half (48.3%) of the 117 respondents in the ad hoc poll stated that doctors were quitting/transferring, 34 (28.8%) was because of doctors quitting and only 16 (13.6%) was due to transferring only.

"We believe one of the main reasons for this lack of manpower is brain drain, as there is a sudden increase of doctors resigning and not accepting permanent posts.

Dr Azizan said a combination of reduced number of doctors with infrastructure failure indicates that there are difficulties in providing good quality healthcare to the rakyat.

"To handle this issue effectively, MMA proposes real time data to know the extent of the shortage, better remuneration by raising civil servant salaries to be competitive with the private sector, better retention plans and repair of broken facilities, with equal money spent in both rural and urban areas.

"In the long term, we need a public services commission that can manage the healthcare system separate from the current Health Ministry-Public Services Department-Finance Ministry trinity.

"This is to allow for more flexible decision-making when it comes to staffing and service expansion needs," added Dr Azizan.

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