Published on: Tuesday, October 08, 2013
Deputy Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahya gave the example of the new Queen Elizabeth Hospital 1 building, which he said has 16 new operating rooms.
"We have to train staff for these 16 new operating rooms.
So in the meantime, even if the operating rooms are finished and we can start operations, we may be only able to open half the rooms due to the current lack of staff.
"So we have to ensure that the necessary required staff are trained as soon as possible. The staff are under training at the moment but their number is still not enough."
He said the hospital's allocated positions are almost fully filled but it is still not enough.
"We are asking for additional positions from the Public Service Department.
We have enough hostels but not enough staff, including doctors, specialists and nurses.
"So that is why we are asking for additional staffing for hospitals.
This is the situation faced by Sabah and also the whole country.
"For example, in QEH2 there are two thoracic surgeons but only one anaesthesiologist, so this means that the two specialists cannot operate optimally. So there is a mismatch. We need at least two anaesthesiologists in this case and this is something we need to solve immediately." he said.
He said the lack of staff in the State has not yet reached the critical level but they were unable to meet existing current demand.
Referring to the convocation ceremony earlier in the day by Sabah-Sarawak Zone graduates, he said this was something good as currently there were about 700 staff nurses from the peninsula in Sabah who are also waiting to go back despite being given outstation allowances, so in this case the only option is to train locals as nurses to replace these outgoing peninsula nurses.
He said this in a press conference at the lobby of the new Queen Elizabeth Hospital Tower block, Monday, after touring the Likas Women and Children's Hospital, QEH1 and QEH2.
Meanwhile, Hilmi also touched on the problem faced by the Likas Women and Children's Hospital, which currently has only one radiotherapy machine.
"It is not enough. This has resulted in a long waiting time for patients.
It can only accommodate treatment for 40 patients in a day which is not enough.
"So there is an urgent need for another radiotherapy machine.
With the existing hospital funds we are able to purchase it immediately," he said.
Earlier, Hilmi also officiated at the Health Ministry Training Institute (ILKKM) joint convocation ceremony 2013 for the Sabah Sarawak Zone graduates which was held at the Universiti Malaysia Sabah Chancellor Hall.
The joint convocation was held for the first time between seven ILKKM in the two states and saw the awarding of certificates and diplomas for 2,071 graduates.
A total of 51 trainees also received Excellent Achievement Awards (APC) for in academic, co-curriculum and overall achievement.