IPOH, Nov 17 — The Health Ministry has submitted a request to the Federal Government for additional posts of 10,675 involving government hospitals and clinics nationwide.

Its deputy minister Dr Lee Boon Chye said the application was to address the shortage of positions especially medical staff in the Emergency Department including the shortage of doctors, pharmacists and dentists.

“We have submitted applications recently and we hope that it can be approved next year to ease the situation.

“So, we hope the Public Service Department (JPA) will consider this so that we can improve health services for all people in the country,” he told reporters after launching the Blood Donation programme organised by the Raja Permaisuri Bainun Hospital visiting board at a shopping centre here, today.

Dr Lee said that the proposal to expand the medical staff also received positive feedback from the Congress of the Unions of Employees in the Public Civil Service (CUEPACS), the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) and several other agencies.

“In fact, when I presented this matter in the Dewan Rakyat recently, it was not only approved by Pakatan Harapan MPs but by the opposition as well,” he said.

He said over the past few years, the recruitment of medical staff was limited and increase of staff was disallowed despite having new hospitals, clinics and services.

He said the existing staff was not sufficient to provide increased services especially as the number of patients increased which put pressure on the staff.

“We strongly hope that the recruitment freeze on the Ministry of Health will be exempted so that more posts can be added as needed,” he said.

Earlier, MMA President Dr N. Ganabaskaran said the staff shortage was due to the growing medical sector with the opening of new hospitals and clinics which meant doctors were required to work longer hours while nurses had to work a double shift. — Bernama