Materia Medica Malaysiana

May 31, 2006

25,000 to get full stipend

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 9:45 am

Star: KUALA LUMPUR: Some 25,000 allied health professionals can look forward to a full specialist allowance once the current masters programme for public health is reviewed.
Health Minister Datuk Dr Chua Soi Lek said he had instructed director-general Datuk Dr Ismail Merican to review the current four-year programme at local universities.
“Currently, the four-year masters programme for public health produces allied health professionals who get a partial specialist allowance,” he said after attending the MCA presidential meeting yesterday.
“The time has come to change the programme to two years of study and a further two years of sub-specialist study.
Dr Chua said this meant that the professionals could benefit from a full specialist allowance, on par with doctors who were specialists.
Allied health professionals include nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and dental nurses.
Dr Chua said the change was needed as the current masters programme was created 20 years ago and that medical needs, technology and information had all changed since then.
“The ministry received RM1.5bil for training under the Ninth Malaysia Plan and so this is where some of the money will go,” he said.
He said the ministry would develop more masters programmes to train specialists and had also identified 32 different sub-specialties that individuals could train in.
“The figure of 25,000 is not something we plucked from the air. We have to see Malaysia’s needs, the amount of money involved and the availability of places for training. Training for specialists is very limited everywhere in the world,” he said.
He added that the focus of the recent World Health Assembly in Geneva that he attended was on human resource development and it was in line with the Prime Minister’s call to create human capital.
In February, Dr Chua said, there was a shortage of 129,634 allied health professionals.
There are only 61,472 such professionals in the country.

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