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Govt assessing medical facility, specialist shortage problems in Sabah, Sarawak, says deputy health minister

On the shortage of medical officers and specialists in Sabah and Sarawak, Deputy Health Minister Datuk Aaron Ago Dagang said the government had appointed medical officers on a contract basis to address the problem. — Reuters file pic

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BAU, Sept 17 — The government is assessing the problems of shortage of medical facilities and specialists in Sabah and Sarawak, said Deputy Health Minister Datuk Aaron Ago Dagang.

He said most of the federal projects that were considered “sick” in Sabah and Sarawak involved the construction of hospitals and health clinics that failed to be completed within the stipulated period.

“The government is assessing these problems and is also working to improve health facilities in Sarawak and Sabah, especially to ensure the construction of new hospitals and health clinics is completed immediately,” he told reporters when visiting Hospital Bau here today.

Among the delayed hospital projects in Sarawak include Petra Jaya Hospital, Sri Aman Hospital, Lawas Hospital and Miri Hospital.

He said the two states needed additional hospitals and health clinics due to the increase in population and overcrowding at many existing facilities which could no longer accommodate the increasing number of patients.

On the shortage of medical officers and specialists, Aaron said the government had appointed medical officers on a contract basis to address the problem.

Based on the population ratio, he said Sarawak needed a total of 1,800 doctors in various fields in government hospitals but currently only 532 doctors were assigned to the state.

“Now there is a proposal to bring in specialists on a contract basis from abroad but this matter is still under discussion given the high cost of salaries,” he added. — Bernama

Reference