Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Government Provides More Physicians For Better Healthcare Of Malaysians


KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama) -- Since Malaysia achieved its independence in 1957, the government has initiated various measures in an effort to produce more Malaysian-born physicians to serve the 'rakyat'.

Apart from the massive funds allocated to the healthcare sector every year, one of the tasks undertaken by the government is to reshape the medical and healthcare services of the remnant of the British colonialists.

Concerned over the wellbeing of the people, the government has established numerous public and private medical colleges in the country.

However, the country continues to face a shortage of doctors in various fields, with the ratio falling short of the World Health Organisation's (WHO) recommendation of one doctor for every 600 people in the population.


Based on the statistics provided by the Health Ministry, the doctor-to-patient ratio in Malaysia has improved from 1:1,490 some 13 years ago to 1:940 in 2011.

Among the Health Ministry's measures to reduce the shortage of Malaysian-born physicians is to provide various incentives to raise the number of medical graduates in the country, where the ministry hopes to achieve the WHO standard of 1:600 doctor-to-population ratio by the year 2015.

In comparison, Sabah has the doctor-to-population ratio of 1:2,248, while in Sarawak, the ratio is 1:1,709.

Aware of these figures, health authorities have deployed more doctors from the Peninsula to work in government hospitals and clinics in both the states.

The latest statistics indicate that there are 1,339 government doctors serving in Sabah and another 1,254 in Sarawak.

The Health Ministry has set a target of achieving 1:400 doctor-to-population ratio by the year 2020 and aims to produce 4,500 housemen from 2013.


As of Nov 17, 2011, there were 35 medical colleges in Malaysia, including 12 in public institutions of higher learning (IPTA), which produce some 4,000 graduates a year.

Among the public medical colleges are Universiti Malaya (UM), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), Universiti Pertahanan Nasional Malaysia (UPNM), Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM), and Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM).

Among the prominent private universities (IPTS) that offer medical courses in Malaysia are the Malaysian branch of Newcastle University in Nusajaya, Johor, Monash University, International Medical University (IMU), SEGI University College in Kota Damansara, Selangor, and the Allianze College of Medical Sciences (ACMS).

According to the Health Ministry's statistics, as of 2011, there were 32,979 doctors serving in the country, including 22,429 in the public sector.

Out of this number, 19,429 were serving in the Health Ministry such as in government hospitals and medical centres, while the remaining were working with other government agencies such as public universities and the Defence Ministry.


Based on the Health Ministry's statistics, the number of doctors serving in the country has seen an increase every year from 1999 to 2006.

The figures were 15,503 doctors in 1999, followed by 15,619 physicians in the year 2000, 16,146 in 2001, 17,442 (2002), 18,191 (2003), 18,246 (2004), 20,105 (2005), and 21,937 in 2006.

As for the doctor-to-population ratio, there was one doctor serving 1,465 Malaysians in 1999, 1,490 (2000), 1,487 (2001), 1,406 (2002), 1,377 (2003), 1,402 (2004), 1,300 (2005), and 1,214 in 2006.


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