KUALA LUMPUR, July 6 ― Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba said Malaysia’s psychiatrist-to-patient ratio was only a tenth of the one per 10,000 recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

During a virtual press conference on the launch of the Healthcare Protection Scheme for low-income B40 group (PeKa B40) 2019-2020 report, Dr Adham said there were currently 268 psychiatrists registered with the Ministry of Health (MoH).

“The total number of psychiatrists in Malaysia is 400 people, with 181 in universities and in private practice.

“According to the WHO norm, one psychiatrist is needed for every 10,000 people,” he said, adding there should be 3,100 psychiatrists in the country to support the 32 million Malaysian population recorded in 2017.

“Malaysia's status, 0.1: 10,000 people as of 2017,” he said in a statistical report obtained by the Malay Mail.

Dr Adham said that there are 62 hospitals, which include four mental institutions for patients in need of mental healthcare.

He said that currently, Malaysia has 25 Community Mental Health Centres (Mentari), as required under the Mental Health Act 2001.

“There are 439 family health specialists who provide psychiatric services in 306 health clinics.

“All 1,001 health clinics in Malaysia offer psychiatric and mental health services via the promotion of depression anxiety stress scales,” Dr Adham said.