Sunday, July 06, 2014

Better prospects to lure doctors to Sarawak

KUCHING: The Health Ministry will fight for more perks for specialist doctors serving in Sarawak to attract more doctors from Peninsular Malaysia to serve in government hospitals in the state.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S Subramaniam said this was one of the approaches his ministry was looking into, to address the shortage of specialist doctors in the state.

“As an immediate and short term measure to attract doctors to come and serve in Sarawak we are trying to create more senior posts because we believe with better incentives, more doctors from Peninsular Malaysia will be interested to come and work here.

“However, we need to bring this matter to the attention of the Public Service Commission (PSC) and Public Service Department (PSD) because it involved existing policies,” he said.

He stated this at a media conference during his working visit to Sarawak General Hospital (SGH) here yesterday.

Subramaniam said the long term measure to address the shortage of specialists faced by Sarawak hospitals was to create more opportunities for students from Sarawak to go into medical studies.

“This was among the challenges conveyed to me by the State Health Department top management. We are aware of the problems and I have discussed it at the ministry level and we will look into it,” he added.

He said there were 213 posts for specialists in the state and 93 per cent of them had been filled.

“Overall I am satisfied with the quality of services in Sarawak because despite all the challenges such as poor communication in certain parts of the state the rate of maternal and infant mortality reported in the state had been very low,” he noted.

Subramaniam assured that the government would continue to improve the facilities at Sarawak General Hospital, including building the long overdue multi- storey car park.

“Some of the projects have already been completed, some still on-going and others are yet to start. All are aimed at providing better health care services to the people here.

“In addition Petra Jaya Hospital project has started and the 300-bed hospital is expected to be operational by middle of 2016. When completed, it will complement SGH which has 900 beds. With a total of 1,200 beds the two hospitals should be able to cater for the needs of the people in the city.

During his visit to SGH yesterday the minister had a dialogue session with the medical officials and staff prior to the media conference. He later visited the patients at one of the wards in SGH.

Among those present at the occasion was State Health director Dr Zulkifli Jantan and other senior officers.

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