MIRI, Jan 5 ― The shortage of personnel remains a big challenge for the Ministry of Health (MoH), especially in the post-Covid-19 pandemic, not only in Sarawak but nationwide.
In saying this, Deputy Health Minister Datuk Lukanisman Awang Sauni said the MoH is presently unable to fully optimise its operations, especially at new clinics, due to the lack of medical officers, nurses, as well as medical assistants.
“We are in a situation where we are not at optimum level yet in providing medical officers at MoH facilities and this is a consistent matter that has been brought up by the Sarawak state health director and myself to the top leadership,” he told reporters when inspecting the new Miri City Health Clinic today.
He pointed out this is a major challenge for the ministry especially with the opening of several new facilities nationwide.
Lukanisman pointed out that last year, MoH opened 20 new health facilities.
As part of its efforts to overcome the shortage of medical officers nationwide, he said the ministry had absorbed nearly 5,000 medical officers, pharmacists, as well as dental officers into permanent positions last year.
“The prime minister had announced that the government intends to absorb 12,500 medical officers into permanent positions, which is a big issue to MoH,” he said.
He hoped medical doctors from Peninsular Malaysia would be open to filling positions in clinics or hospitals in Sarawak.
On the new Miri City Health Clinic, Lukanisman said the clinic began operations on Jan 2.
“As for now, the clinic is operating with a capacity of between 50 and 60 per cent manpower, as there are a number positions that are still being filled,” he said.
The Type 2 clinic, costing RM27 million, is expected to help ease congestion at existing clinics such as at Jalan Merbau.
The clinic has the capacity to accommodate up to 1,000 patients per day. ― Borneo Post