The target ratio of a nurse to 200 people as recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO) is difficult to achieve in the near future, because there was a shortage of nurses, and the intake of new nurses per year was lower than the increase in population, said Deputy Health Minister Hilmi Yahaya.
Without stating the number of births per year, he said about 3,300 nurses were recruited each year.
“We are aiming to achieve the ratio established by the WHO as soon as possible from a ratio of 1:300 at the moment, but we have to admit, it is difficult to achieve it in the near future because the disparity between the number of nurses trained and recruited and increase in population is quite large,” he told reporters yesterday.
Earlier, he officiated the national level celebration of International Nurses Day 2017 at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre (PICC), which was attended by about 2,000 nurses from across the country.
In the meantime, Hilmi said the ministry had trained 40,000 volunteers to act as health screeners at the grassroots level nationwide.
He said the ministry also received support from the Community Development Department (Kemas) and Rukun Tetangga which allowed 11,000 employees and members to be trained with skills such as checking blood pressure, cholesterol level and body weight, expanding the reach of the initial health screening without the need to visit the hospital.
Hilmi also presented nursing figure awards to three recipients at the ceremony, namely former associate professor of UCSI University Dr Jeya Devi Coomarasamy for education, and retired nurses Habesah Ab Latif and Siti Mahfudz, in the fields of community and service. –Bernama