JOHOR BAHRU, May 19 — Johor is facing a shortage of nurses and needs approximately 15,000 to 18,000 more, says state Health and Unity Committee chairman, Ling Tian Soon.
He said this was because Malaysian nurses received attractive offers from Singapore and the increase in the number of hospitals was also among the factors causing a shortage of nurses in the state.
“There are now 12,533 nurses in Johor, with 8,777 in the public hospitals and 3,756 in private hospitals.
“When I made an official visit to the private and government hospitals in Johor recently, most of the health personnel voiced their concern that many graduates leave for neighbouring countries as they get attractive salary offers.”
“They work as nurses in Singapore, but their salary is equal to that of a specialist doctor in Malaysia due to the currency exchange rate,” he told reporters after launching the state-level International Nurses Day celebration, here, today.
According to Ling, there is a possibility that more Malaysians, including doctors, will migrate to Singapore to find better job opportunities. However, the state government will intensify its efforts to attract them to serve in Johor.
However, Ling said the shortage of nurses in the state was still under control and he would bring up the matter with Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin soon.
At the same time, he hoped that the government would offer more nursing courses, which could produce more nurses to serve in both government and private hospitals.