MMA poll highlights inadequate manpower at public healthcare facilities

The Malaysian Medical Association notes that nearly half of the respondents said the shortages were due to doctors quitting or being transferred. – Pixabay pic, May 27, 2024.

ALMOST all public healthcare facilities nationwide have inadequate manpower, a survey by the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) revealed.

MMA’s Section Concerning House Officers, Medical Officers and Specialists’ ad hoc poll found that only 5% of public healthcare facilities have adequate manpower.

In a statement, MMA noted that nearly half of the respondents said the shortages were due to doctors quitting or being transferred.

Given this, MMA suggested the Health Ministry conduct a transparent and comprehensive study and raise doctor salaries to be competitive with the private sector, among others.

“We urge the Health Ministry (MOH) to conduct a comprehensive study with transparent publication of results on the public healthcare manpower and workload to tackle the issue of manpower shortages.

“We hope that these findings from our survey will further shed light on the situation at public healthcare facilities,” said MMA president Dr Azizan Abdul Aziz.

According to the poll, only six responses (5%) indicated they had adequate manpower; 36 responses (32%) needed an increase of up to 50% of manpower; and 51 (46%) needed an increase of up to 100%.

18 responses (16%) needed more than twice the current number of doctors to provide adequate services. Six responses were “unsure” as to how many doctors they actually needed.

The ad hoc poll was conducted online via Google Forms in early April to obtain a quick overview of the current status of manpower distribution in government facilities.

The survey received a total of 117 responses from various government healthcare facilities across the country.

Participants in the survey were from Johor (14), Kedah (13), Kuala Lumpur (7), Negri Sembilan (9), Pahang (4), Penang (9), Perak (10), Perlis (1), Sabah (20), Sarawak (19), Selangor (9) and Terengganu (2).

“We believe one of the main reasons for this lack of manpower is brain drain. There is a sudden increase of doctors resigning and not accepting permanent posts.

“There are groups of doctors whose contracts are ending this month and in July, but there is no concrete answer as to what happens to them,” Dr Azizan said. – May 27, 2024

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