Below, I have attached the “Health Facts 2012” which was recently released by Ministry of Health. These are the figures for 2011. Well, the writings are on the wall. If you look at the figures carefully, as of 31/12/2011, we have already achieved a doctor: population ratio of 1: 791 compared to 1: 900 in 2010. This figure includes all the housemen with the total number of doctors standing at 36 607. I am very sure with the exponential increase in the number of medical graduates, we will achieve a ratio of 1: 600 by 2014, almost 2 years before the targeted year of 2016. If the trend continues, we will achieve 1: 400 way before 2020, probably by 2016!! Always remember that 50% of the current 34 functioning medical schools have not produced their graduates.
It is obvious that in comparison, we are still very short of dentists (1: 6800) and pharmacists (1: 3355) despite the post in civil service being almost full as mentioned here and here. Once the 1Care system is implemented and the dispensing rights are given to the pharmacist, more pharmacists will be needed to run these NHS dispensing pharmacies. I was informed recently (not sure how true it is) that smaller pharmacists are being advised to merge with the bigger ones as the government may only appoint few big chain pharmacists as their dispenser.
It is also interesting to note that the population growth rate is declining to 1.3% last year but the doctor’s growth rate is increasing at 15%/year, at least. It is quite obvious that we have enough doctors but it is the maldistribution that’s needed to be addressed. We all know that Klang Valley has a doctor: population ratio of less than 1: 400. Many doctors in Klang Valley are struggling to survive and venturing into unethical practices and direct selling’s.
When we include the private and public sector, the number of hospital beds and doctors are more than enough. What we need is integration of public and private healthcare. The government is hoping that the 1Care system will address this problem. Once 1Care system is implemented and the public hospitals are corporatized, medical graduates will need to apply to individual hospitals for a job and will depend on job vacancies. When this time comes in another 5-10 years, the maldistribution issues will be automatically solved. Many will remain jobless as it is only so many that the system can absorb!
Please read : health_fact_2012_page_by_page