The Health Ministry can save up to RM200mil in operating costs when training institutes (ILKKM) under its ministry are integrated in phases, says Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad.
The Health Minister said the rationalisation measure would improve operating efficiency, without reducing intake of students.
"I think the Congress of Unions of Employees in the Public and Civil Services (Cuepacs) did not have the full information when they said there would be a reduction in student recruitment.
"I have explained and made this clear since the very beginning at the Dewan Rakyat," he said when asked about Cuepacs urging the government to review the proposed closure of 33 ILKKMs nationwide.
He said this at a press conference following the Meet the People Programme: Know Your Medicines and the Global Pharmacy Day Celebration 2019 here Saturday (Oct 5), which was officiated by Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.
Dr Dzulkefly said 19 ILKKM would be merged in phases, and the first stage this year involved nine institutes.
"The capacity of ILKKM will be optimised when 13 of it will function as Colleges of Allied Health Sciences (KSKB)," he said.
Meanwhile, Dr Noor Hisham in his opening speech said World Pharmacy Day is celebrated on Sept 25 every year starting 2010 to raise public awareness of the profession of pharmacists as well as recognise the importance of the pharmaceutical field in healthcare.
Dr Noor Hisham said the profession of pharmacists is expanding to include traditional medical, academic and research sectors.
"Now, pharmacists play a very important role in providing pharmaceutical care to patients and need to be wise and prudent in advising on the medications provided so that the drugs are used properly," he said.