The Health Ministry will continue its incentives to increase the number of medical specialists although they have already exceeded the required amount.
Deputy Health Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye said the incentives include encouraging more medical officers to continue their masters studies in specialised fields through an increase of slots in the sponsored Federal Training Gift programme, which was increased from 800 in 2014 to 1,000 slots in 2015.
“We also encourage Malaysians working abroad to come home and serve. And we plan on implementing cluster hospitals which is a collaboration between several specialist and non-specialist hospitals within the same geographical location,” he said.
Dr Lee was answering a query from Sabak Bernam MP Datuk Mohd Fasiah Mohd Fakeh on the number of specialist hospitals in the country, as well as the steps which the ministry will take to increase the number of specialist hospitals as well as existing specialist doctors.
He said as of May 31, the number of medical specialist officers under the ministry is 104 per cent, or 5,082 people. The number required is 4,878 specialists.
“Presently there are 145 ministry hospitals nationwide, classified according to function. These include 14 state hospitals, 28 major specialisation hospitals, 18 minor specialisation hospitals, 75 non-specialised hospitals, and 10 special hospitals or institutions.
“Per the 10th and 11th Malaysian Plan, there are plans for six more specialist hospitals and upgrading 10 non-specialist hospitals to specialist status. However this will depend on current fiscal standing and available manpower,” Dr Lee said.