KUALA LUMPUR: The Health Ministry will focus on producing quality doctors, rather than quantity, says its Minister Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad.
“As Health Minister, it is my view that quality and specialisation of doctors are more important than the quantity of doctors.
“Thus, the ministry will focus on continuous medical education for our medical officers to specialise in areas deemed of national importance,” he said when replying to a supplementary question by Datuk Shabudin Yahaya (BN-Tasik Gelugor) in the Dewan Rakyat on Thursday (July 19).
The focus would be on producing doctors who specialise in oncology, family medicine and primary care, he said as examples.
However, he acknowledged that the nation was still lacking in doctors, based on the World Health Organisation (WHO) standards.
“Based on WHO’s definition for a middle income economy, there should be one doctor for every 400 population.
“However, presently, we can only supply one doctor for every 632 population,” he added.
Dr Zulkefly assured lawmakers that he was serious in taking stern action against errant contractors who failed to complete their projects to build hospitals and medical facilities.
He said delays in completing the projects had reduced the number of hospital beds in general.
“The ratio of hospital beds should be 2.2 per thousand, but we are only 1.9 presently,” he said, adding that Malaysia was still lagging behind Singapore and Indonesia in this area.
Earlier, to a question posed by Chang Lih Kang (PH-Tanjong Malim), Dr Zulkefly said that 11,706 medical graduates would undergo their housemanship with 47 hospitals.