Deputy Health Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye today spoke of the need for more neurosurgeons to serve in public and private health care centres in the semi-urban and rural areas.
He said that currently there were 115 practising neurosurgeons nationwide, in both government and private hospitals, supported by over 400 individuals trained in neuroscience nursing.
“Therefore, we are hoping to have another 40 to 50 neurosurgeons in the near future,” he said to reporters after launching the World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies (WFNS) Symposia 2018, here.
Due to the small number of surgeons available, it was a challenge catering to the needs of accident victims with head injuries as accidents demanded 70 per cent of the neurosurgical needs in the country, he said. Melaka, Kelantan, Sarawak and Perlis have limited neurosurgical health services at present.
Dr Lee said there was a need for neurosurgical services in smaller hospitals too but the cost of setting up a neurosurgical hospital or centre was very expensive, for between RM5 and RM10 million was required to set up a single centre.
Meanwhile, in his keynote address, Dr Lee said that in line with the rapidly expanding demand for and importance of efficient delivery of health services in the field of neuroscience, the Health Ministry introduced a one-year Advanced Diploma in Neuroscience Nursing training programme in 2013.
“The programme is aimed at providing a specialised group of registered neuro nurses in Malaysia with comprehensive training in various neuroscience fields emphasising the importance research played in this ever-evolving specialty,” he said.
He also said that the WFNS symposia was essential for Malaysian specialists to renew their practicing licence annually.
Malaysia is hosting the 6th installment of the WFNS conference, attended by over 800 neurosurgical specialists from more than 75 countries from Aug 15 to19.