Materia Medica Malaysiana

June 1, 2008

Proposal for doctors to serve short stints in rural clinics

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 9:30 am

NST: KUCHING: Doctors at Sarawak’s 20 general hospitals may have to serve short stints in rural clinics if a Health Ministry proposal is pushed through.
Minister Datuk Liow Tiong Lai said yesterday they would have to serve three-month stints in rotation.
Most of the 100 or so rural clinics are headed by hospital assistants or community nurses.
They handle routine ailments, but cases that require a doctor’s or specialist’s attention are usually flown to the nearest hospital by the flying doctor service.
After touring Sarawak General Hospital (SGH), Liow said no doctors could be posted to these clinics because of the severe shortage of doctors in the state.
Nearly half of the positions are not filled. Of the 326 positions for doctors, only 162 have been filled, while only 23 of the 65 specialist positions are filled.
A short-term measure to overcome the shortage was to post more housemen to Sarawak, Liow said.
“I expect them to be here in a month or two,” he said, but most would serve in SGH.
The completion of the hospital’s west wing at the end of the year means the addition of several hundred beds and the expansion of the specialist clinics.
Liow added his ministry was looking at a proposal to build a second public hospital in Kuching. “Kuching is a fast growing city and there is a need for this.”

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