THE Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) has applauded the Health Ministry’s (MOH) move to reassign nurses from specialist clinics to wards in government hospitals.
According to MMA president Dr Azizan Abdul Aziz, the relocation exercise will optimise nursing staff amid the shortages of nurses at public healthcare facilities throughout the country.
“We commend the Health Ministry and the Health director-general for their progressive efforts and encourage continued commitment to reshaping the healthcare workforce distribution in addressing the healthcare needs of the population,” she said in a statement today (Jan 9).
“If well-implemented, the reassignments may even significantly reduce the workload in some of the hospital wards affected by a maldistribution of healthcare workers.
“We welcome this effort by the MOH and hope for its smooth implementation. We hope the positions vacated as a result of the reassignments will be promptly filled to prevent any disruptions to services. The importance of training must also be emphasised.”
According to Dr Azizan, these shortages in healthcare personnel have underscored once again the importance of digitalising the country’s healthcare system which will enable data-driven decisions as well as effective mapping and planning of the healthcare human resources.
“We acknowledge that there may be initial challenges in addressing specialty-specific demands however, given time, we are confident of the ministry overcoming them,” she noted.
“We believe data-driven decisions and real-time monitoring will be the way forward for effective planning of workforce placement. The MMA believes that increased efficiency and productivity can be achieved through a digital system enabling data driven decisions.”
Dr Azizan said digitalisation will be crucial for both immediate and future planning of public healthcare human resources in ensuring that healthcare services cater to community needs.
“Healthcare services should be planned in response to the needs of the population, not determined by the size of budgets or the number of posts created,” she added.
On Monday (Jan 9), MOH described the reassignment of nearly all nurses from specialist clinics to wards in government hospitals as a “strategic mobilisation” or workforce optimisation exercise.
The ministry said healthcare personnel, including both nurses and medical assistants, would be “trained and privileged accordingly”, before they are assigned with specific clinical tasks and procedures.
Last week, CodeBlue reported that MOH’s goal to relocate “100 per cent” of nurses from specialist clinics – excluding those in clinical areas such as obstetrics and gynaecology (O&G) and paediatrics – to wards due to a severe shortage of nurses in public hospitals and insufficient nursing graduates.
Nurses in specialist clinics would be substituted with medical assistants, according to documents sighted from Health director-general Datuk Dr Muhammad Radzi Abu Hassan’s Nov 27 meeting with MOH’s medical assistance services branch and the nursing division. Jan 9, 2024
Main pic credit: Malay Mail