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KUALA LUMPUR, June 10 — Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad has appealed to Malaysian doctors and specialists working overseas to return to the country to work.
In an interview with Malaysiakini, Dzulkefly said that he hoped many of those working overseas will come back in light of a “new Malaysia” following Pakatan Harapan’s surprise victory on May 9.
“I hope they (specialists) would return home in droves. In the recent elections, we had seen the vigour for people to come back to vote for a new Malaysia,” he told the online portal.
“In the near future, I, for one, would like to communicate with them to make a special plea that the present government and I have the goodwill (to see them come back and practise here).”
Dzulkefly added that the ministry was facing a shortage of specialists in the field of oncology and geriatric care, and that the ratio of doctors to patients was disproportionate.
“Ideally, as stated by the World Health Organisation, a medium-income country like Malaysia should have one doctor to 400 people,” he told Malaysiakini but noted that the current ratio for Malaysia was one doctor to 632 people.
While urging healthcare practitioners to return to Malaysia, Dzulkefly also told the news portal that his ministry would consider sending doctors and medical students abroad for training.
“We (the ministry) will continue to get them (Malaysian specialists), back but more importantly, if we cannot get them back, we will try to reverse the process by sending our students there to be trained,” Dzulkefly said.