Uphill battle to produce more geriatricians in Malaysia

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad said that it is an uphill battle to produce more geriatricians as Malaysia becomes an aged nation in the next 23 years.

“It has been difficult to get medical graduates and medical officers to be interested in this. We are talking to the higher education ministry to increase these numbers.

“At the same time, we have to drive more to be interested, perhaps by incentivising them to take up this speciality,” he said, reported FMT.

Efforts have been taken to incentivise more doctors to specialise in geriatric care.

At present there are merely 60 geriatricians and the numbers need to be ramped up urgently.

Geriatrics is a medical field that specialises on the health of the elderly.

A medical specialist recently called upon the government to beef up medical care for those aged 65 and above since senior citizens would make up 14 percent of the population in over 20 years.

Deputy health minister Lukanisman Awang had previously revealed the critical shortage of geriatricians with only 33 in the public hospitals and 14 in private sector.

He has reportedly said that there should be one specialist for 10,000 but Malaysia only has 0.18 specialists for 10,000 people.

Dzulkefly said today that Universiti Malaya is the sole institution offering geriatric specialist courses and even then only three to eight are signing up.

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