Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said the shortage of medical specialist has resulted in longer waiting time for the public to get specialist treatments.
Khairy said as of now, there are less than 13,000 medical specialists in both the public and private healthcare sectors.
“We need 28,000 medical specialists by 2030. This is in view of the disease burden including non-communicable disease which is expected to increase in 10 years as Malaysia heads towards becoming an ageing nation.
“Apart from optimising the use of our facilities, the Finance Ministry must also pledge its commitment (to increase allocation) to enable us to have the necessary training for our doctors to become medical specialists,” he said.
Khairy was responding to a supplementary question from Rusnah Aluai (PKR – Batu Tangga) who asked if the longer waiting time for the public to obtain specialist treatment was a result of the government’s failure to resolve issues involving medical and healthcare workers, who were appointed on contractual basis.
To another supplementary question from Abdul Latiff Abdul Rahman (Pas – Kuala Krai), Khairy admitted that better offers in the private sector was the reason why medical specialists left public healthcare.
Although the government continued to increase allowances for medical specialists in the public healthcare sector, Khairy said this is not comparable to the ones offered in private health facilities.
The government, he said, had also relaxed certain aspects for medical specialist in order for them to gain more income by allowing them to provide their services at private healthcare facilities one day in a week.
“Most of them who choose to remain in the public healthcare system are doing so following their sense of national duty.
“We must praise them for having such a spirit of wanting to remain and continue to contribute directly to the nation,’ he said.