MMA warns of doctor burnout, urges Health Ministry to address staffing shortages

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, July 2 — Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) president Dr Koh Kar Chai said today that some states in the country are experiencing a shortage of doctors.

Dr Koh said this was because the doctor-to-patient ratio may differ depending on the state, but the patient load is almost similar across the board.

“The MMA proposes that the Ministry of Health (MoH) and Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM) conduct mapping to look into the actual trend in general and subspecialty cases in each state and plan the human resources accordingly,” he said in a statement.

Dr Koh also said that state Health Departments must plan around the allocations of junior medical officers (floaters).

“The workforce must not be centred on these temporary workers, but instead planned with permanent allocations to the hospitals and departments,” he said.

He also pointed out that the issue of medical officers quitting is serious and must be addressed immediately as the medical industry is “haemorrhaging human capital which is desperately needed”.

“While caring for the rakyat, doctors too need adequate rest. If they are on call every other day, it will result in burnout,” he added.

Yesterday, MoH said that is no staffing crisis involving medical officers at Kuala Lumpur Hospital (HKL) and Tunku Azizah Hospital (HTA).

The ministry issued a statement in response to a letter purportedly written by HKL, which has since gone viral.

The letter warned that both hospitals would have a shortage of medical officers following a movement of junior doctors (floaters) out of the hospitals from July 18.

MoH said the transfers were a normal procedure to implement instructions and to process applications for the transfer of officers from time to time.