“Provide five to 10-year projection of needed healthcare human resources,” says MMA

WHILE welcoming Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s announcement that 12,800 permanent positions would be provided for contract doctors within three years, the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) said there still needs to be a long term solution and planning of the public healthcare human resources.

This is because around 3,000 medical graduates enter the public healthcare system each year, the doctors’ group said.

“There should be a five to 10-year projection of the health care human resources that will be needed and milestones set to achieve the targets,” MMA president Dr Muruga Raj Rajathurai said in a statement.

“The plan should include the targeted number of doctors, specialists, pharmacists, radiologists, allied health care personnel and other health care staff. MMA had asked JPA (Public Service Department) for a five to 10-year projection but have yet to receive a response.”

Dr Muruga said there may be a need for a health commission for the purpose of planning, hiring and managing the public healthcare workforce and its wages as the needs in the healthcare sector greatly differ from that of other government departments.

“The population is growing and so too are the health care needs. To set up the commission, certain reforms will be needed in the financing of healthcare and its human resources,” he remarked.

“Additionally, we may also need to review the intake of medical students to match the supply to the demand for doctors in the future.”

Yesterday (April 4) Anwar said the government, through the Budget 2023, has allocated an amount of RM19.7 bil in emolument, which saw an increase of RM3 bil from previous years.

The Tambun MP said of this RM3 bil additional allocation, RM1.2 bil was allocated for pay rise, RM600 mil for contract appointment and RM1.1 bil for absorption to permanent positions.

With the allocation in place, Anwar said that 12,800 contract doctors will be in permanent positions in three years. – April 5, 2023


Main pic credit: MMA

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