KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 23 – Sarawak has only received about seven per cent of new posts created in the Ministry of Health (MOH) between 2020 and June 2021.
The government created an additional 10,675 new posts of various service schemes and grades in MOH in phases – from 2020 until June 2021.
Of that, a total of 718 new posts were created in Sarawak, equivalent to seven per cent. The new positions created in the East Malaysian state include 78 medical officers and seven dental officers.
Furthermore, MOH has conditionally approved 6,647 new posts for new or upgraded health facilities operating from July to December 2021. Of that, a total of 479 posts were allocated for Sarawak, comprising 54 medical officers and five dental officers.
Senator Robert Lau Hui Yew had asked MOH to state if the government intends to offer more permanent appointments of medical officers and dental officers to those who were born in Sarawak.
Approximately, 10 per cent of doctors and four per cent of dentists who were born in Sarawak received permanent posts and placements in the biggest state of the country for the past two years.
From 2019 to 2021, a total of 1,074 contract medical officers received offers for permanent appointment.
Of them, a total of 108 officers were born in Sarawak and have been placed in Sarawak, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin stated in a written Dewan Negara reply on December 15.
Meanwhile, 950 contract dental officers have received permanent appointments. Of them a total of 37 officers were born and placed in Sarawak.
MOH has made improvements by prioritising eligible Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan born officers to be placed in permanent posts in the Borneo states and the federal territory.
Medical and dental officers who have completed their graduate training or compulsory service will be undergoing a process to be offered permanent posts if they meet the criteria and conditions set by MOH.
It is important to note that Sarawak’s doctor-to-population ratio was 1:682 in 2019, about 1.5 times bigger than Malaysia’s nationwide 1:454 ratio. This shows a smaller distribution of medical practitioners in the rural state.
A total of 45.6 per cent, or 98 out of 215 rural clinics in Sarawak, do not even have a doctor and are only run by medical assistants and nurses.