KUALA LUMPUR, 3 Nov 2008: The integration of the Health Ministry’s four paramedic service schemes — nurse, medical assistant, x-ray technician and health inspector — is expected to prevent migration of health workforce out of the country.
Health Minister Datuk Liow Tiong Lai said through the integrated scheme, which has been implemented in stages, paramedic staff would get to enjoy better grades and higher salary scale.
“For instance, previously for nurses they could only go up to grade U36 and if they had degrees they could go up to U41, U44 and U48. Under the integrated scheme they could go up to U54 (management),” he told a news conference.
Earlier he witnessed the signing of memorandums of understanding and memorandums of agreement between the ministry and 23 public and private higher learning institutions for the use of the ministry’s facilities for clinical training.
Liow said through the integrated scheme, the ministry also hoped to increase the number of nurses.
“We are training more nurses. We have 27 nursing colleges at the moment but the number is still not sufficient. The ministry will therefore continue to work with public and private higher learning institutions to train more nurses,” he said.
Liow also said that the nurse-patient ratio in the country was improving at 1:375 at the moment from the previous ratio of 1:500.
“Our target is to achieve the ratio of 1:200 by 2015,” he said.
Liow also reminded owners of air-conditioned restaurants that their premises were also included in the list of 20 no-smoking zones.
“Some restaurant owners are not aware that air-conditioned restaurants are a non-smoking zone. Owners must put up the no-smoking sign and advise their customers not to smoke in the restaurant,” he said. — Bernama