Bandar Kuching MP wants Fed govt to cure ‘haemorrhage’ among medical professionals in public healthcare system

Dr Kelvin Yii

By DayakDaily

KUCHING, May 28: Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii Lee Wuen has called for the Federal government to cure the ‘haemorrhage’ or loss of manpower involving doctors and other medical professionals in the public healthcare system.

In a statement today, he informed that a recent ad hoc poll conducted by the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) found that only five per cent of public healthcare facilities have adequate manpower, with nearly half of respondents saying that shortages are due to doctors quitting or being transferred out.


Such sentiment, he said, is also reflected by the data provided by Ministry of Health (MOH) which shows that the number of medical officers (MOs) who didn’t report for duty at their placements for permanent appointments surged 1,333 per cent from 78 in 2022 to 1,118 in 2023.

Additionally, MOH data also shows that the number of resignations among contract doctors increased by a whopping 1,131 per cent from 110 resignations in 2017 to 1,354 resignations in 2022.

“The number of resignations in 2022 among contract medical officers exceeded those in the two previous pandemic years combined at 1,279.

“On top of that, there are now fewer new medical graduates reporting to duty as fewer people are studying medicine overall in addition to those not returning to Malaysia after studying overseas for various reasons,” he pointed out.

He also said the data shows that the number of appointed house officers (HO) declined by 47 per cent in just four years from 6,136 in 2019 to 3,271 in 2023.

When it comes to nurses, Dr Yii said the MOH has projected a shortage of about 8,000 nurses in Malaysia for 2023 and 2024, and up to 60 per cent by 2030, with the main driving factor for such brain drain is better salary and security in other countries such as Singapore, Australia and even Dubai.

Following this, he called on the Federal government to promote conducive and supportive working environments and not tolerate any form of harassment or even bullying for the short-term development.

For that to happen, he said the current feedback mechanism must be improved, be properly used as anonymous direct channel to report incidents, and more importantly be seen to have actions taken to effectively address the concerns raised.

He also called for an open data system where MOH shows the need of each medical workers in each State and implementing a better transfer mechanism and support for those that need to transfer out to help reduce the frustrations and issues faced by the affected and thus, reducing the rate of resignations.

“When it comes to better salary, while I welcome the recent announcement by Prime Minister Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim on the revision of civil servants’ salary, I also do hope they look into revising some of the allowances including on-call allowances for our staff,” he said.

For the long run, he proposed for MOH to study the need for a separate a public healthcare services commission that can manages the human resource in healthcare system. — DayakDaily