MELAKA: There are 32,979 doctors serving in the country as of last year, with 22,429 of them working in the public sector, Health director-general, Datuk Dr Hasan Abdul Rahman said.
The number provided a doctor to population ratio of 1:827, he said, adding that the Health Ministry was targetting a ratio of 1:400 by 2020.
Speaking to reporters after opening the International Malaysian Medical Students Conference at the Melaka-ManipalMedical College here yesterday, Dr Hasan said out of the total number of doctors working in the public sector, 19,429 of them were with the Health Ministry.
The remaining are with other government agencies like the public universities, the Defence Ministry and the Housing and Local Government Ministry, he added.
On shortage of doctors, he said efforts were being made by the Health Ministry to bring back Malaysian specialist doctors who were working abroad, as well as to employ on contract basis foreign specialist doctors, like from Egypt and India.
“We have shortage of doctors in Sabah and Sarawak because many doctors want to be in the peninsula, especially the Klang Valley area,” he added.
He said there were 1,339 government doctors in Sabah and 1,254 government doctors in Sarawak.
“Besides the shortage of doctors in Sabah and Sarawak, we are also facing shortage of specialist doctors nationwide,” he added.
However, he believed that with the presence of 33 medical institutions in the country currently, including 11 owned by the government, Malaysia would be able to produce more doctors.
The ministry is targetting to produce 4,500 housemen this year, he said, adding that in an effort to produce more specialist doctors, the ministry, with the collaboration of several local universities, had increased the number of places for Master’s degree to 727 this year.
On the hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS), Dr Hasan said there had been no report on the spread of the disease in the country this week. — Bernama