Thursday, August 7, 2008

Courtesy Visit to Ministry of Health

Aug 6, 2008

Today, I was at that Ministry of Health with Alex Chan Chin Chee, our student, who was the former MCA State Assemblyman for Simpang Pulai in Perak. Alex Chan has just won the deputy head of MCA Gopeng Division. With his connection, I am able to meet the minister. Of course the minister was a busy man and in fact our meeting has been postponed twice due to MCA branch and division election.

Alex Chan at OUM Main Campus Library

We started our journey from Ipoh at 11.30am. I brought Alex to our OUM campus as he has never been to our campus before. I showed him our library and how a student can use OPAC to borrow books from our library via online.

Alex Chan with Prof. Kidin (centre) and Prof. Mukherjee

We also managed to meet two important people, Prof. Dr. Kidin (Dean of Faculty of Science and Technology) and Prof. Dr. Mukherjee. We have a short meeting before we proceed to Putrajaya.

We arrived at Putrajaya about 4.20pm as our appointment has been fixed at 4.30pm. As usual the ministry's office was full of people waiting to see him. We were called in by the Minister at 5pm sharp. We spent about 30 minutes talking about our Bachelor of Nursing Science program, our students and the practical that they will be doing at 21 selected government hospitals.

Richard Ng at the Ministry of Health

Richard Ng with Dato' Liow Tiong Lai, minister of health

We left at about 6pm and arrived in Ipoh at 10pm. It was a cordial and fruitful meeting. We hope the ministry will review our quota for our next BNS intake so that more students can take up the program.

Group photo with Minister of Health

On July 26, the Minister announced that there is shortage of 6,400 specialist nurses in the hospital as follows:

Not enough specialised nurses to go around - The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: July 26, 2008

The shortage of nurses in Malaysia has caused several wards and intensive care units in newer hospitals to remain closed.

Health Minister Datuk Liow Tiong Lai said among the hospitals affected included those in Serdang, Sungai Buloh, Ampang and Sungai Petani.

“Many new hospitals are not able to open wards, intensive care units and operating theatres, which need a lot of post basic nurses,” he told reporters after opening the 2nd Universiti Malaya Medical Centre Nursing Congress 2008 yesterday.

He said that as of March this year, only 85.9% of the 42,476 staff nurse posts had been filled, while 6,004 posts remained vacant.

“The need for specialised nurses is growing with increasing specialisation of medical practice,” he said.

There were 11 areas which lacked nurses with post basic training. These included intensive care, coronary care, neo-natal care, paediatric care and emergency and traumatology, he said.

Only between 30% and 40% of nurses working in the 11 areas have been given the necessary post-basic training.

In addition to this, there are also new specialist nursing areas like HIV counselling, genetic counselling and neuro-radiology intervention.

Liow added that 27 nurses from India would arrive next month following the Cabinet’s approval last year to recruit 1,300 nurses from Asean and Commonwealth countries over a period of three years.

There are currently 73,613 nurses of all categories and grades in Malaysia where 78% worked with the ministry and the rest were in the private and non-ministry sectors.

Training is being done at 17 nursing colleges under the ministry, producing about 3,500 diploma nurses yearly while private colleges have also been roped in to help.

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