KUCHING, May 25 — Deputy Premier Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian today said a total of 273 government doctors resigned from the Sarawak Health Department from the year 2018 to March this year for a variety of reasons.
He said they comprised 75 house officers, 129 medical officers and 69 specialists.
Dr Sim, who is also the minister holding a watching brief on health services in the state, however, said there is an overall increase of 48 per cent of medical officers and specialists in Sarawak over the last six years, despite the resignations of the 273 medical personnel.
“In 2022, we have 3,222 doctors as compared with 2,166 doctors in 2016,” he said in his winding-up speech in the Sarawak State Assembly.
“However, there is a decrease in the number of community nurses graduating from Nursing Colleges over the last four years because the Ministry of Health (MoH) is now focusing on training more staff nurses,” he said.
Dr Sim, who is also the state minister of public health, local government and housing, said the number of staff nurses has increased in Sarawak by 3 per cent for the last three years.
“There are 8,483 nurses in 2022 as compared to 8,212 nurses in 2019,” he added.
Dr Sim said the Ministry of Health had recently set up an independent healthcare work culture improvement task force to look into the work culture and management of health personnel, nationwide.
He said the state government has highlighted the need to improve the health services in Sarawak through the meetings of the Special Council on the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).
“We have previously requested the federal government for an executive authority over the setting up, maintenance and equipment of hospitals, clinics and other health facilities to be conferred and performed by the state government under Article 80(4), Article 80(5) and Article 80(6) of the Federal Constitution, with funds as may be agreed between the federal and Sarawak governments,” he said.
He said the state government will continue to pursue these issues under the Special Council for MA63.
Dr Sim also said that the state government, through Sarawak Health Department, has a plan to establish a cancer centre in Samarahan for consideration by the federal government.
He said there are three options for the federal government to consider, with option one for a 390-bed cancer centre but equipped for 300 beds at a cost of RM860 million, option two for a 390-bed cancer centre, fully equipped with a cost of RM966 million and option three for a 474 beds cancer hospital at a cost of RM1.12 billion.
He said the cost estimate does not only cover the construction of the building but also takes into account other complementing state of the art equipment and facilities.