April 23, 2005 18:22 PM
SIBU, April 23 (Bernama) -- No new government hospital will be built in the
country under the Ninth Malaysia Plan because there is a shortage of
suitable land and insufficient medical staff to operate them, Health
Minister Datuk Dr Chua Soi Lek said.
Instead, the government would emphasise upgrading existing hospitals and
human resources in all disciplines and sectors, he said.
He said district hospitals would be upgraded with new diagnostic equipment,
laboratories and other necessary infrastructures.
Greater emphasis too would be given to public health awareness promotion and
education programmes in order to inculcate a healthier lifestyle among the
people, he said at a meeting with doctors, nurses and supporting staff of
Sibu General Hospital Saturday.
Dr Chua said the perenniel problem of shortages of specialists, doctors,
nurses and other supporting staff was affecting the delivery of health
services in Sarawak.
He said the state faced a shortage in 12 different disciplines and the
Cabinet had been informed of this and other problems.
Peninsular Malaysian doctors were reluctant to serve in the state as they
could not get approval to go into private practice in the state after
serving in government hospitals.
As a solution, he said, the government would have to send more junior staff
Doctors would also be sourced from other hospitals where the workload was
not heavy, he added.-- BERNAMA
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