PUTRAJAYA: The Health Ministry aims to raise all of its nurses’ qualifications from diploma-level to degree. Its minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramniam said the majority of the 89,000 nurses in the public healthcare sector have diplomas, with only 652 possessing degree qualifications in nursing.
“Efforts are being made to improve the nursing profession in terms of their knowledge, achievements and career paths,” he told reporters before chairing the ministry’s post-cabinet meeting today.
Dr Subramaniam also said the current ratio of nurses to the country’s population stood at one nurse for every 297 people. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the recommended ratio for a country such as Malaysia is 1:200.
In 2011, it was reported the nurse ratio was at 1: 329. Nurses in Malaysia, he said, play vital roles especially in the interiors as their contributions had significantly improved the people’s well-being. “Their roles are crucial especially in addressing lifestyle diseases,” Dr Subramaniam said, adding that Malaysia would celebrate the national-level Nurses Day tomorrow (May 12).
Lifestyle diseases include atherosclerosis, heart disease, and stroke; obesity and type 2 diabetes; and diseases associated with smoking and alcohol and drug abuse. On the progress of drafting regulations related to vaping or e-cigarettes, he said they were in the final stages and are expected to be completed before the year-end. He said once the draft is finalised, it would be tabled before the Cabinet. The regulations, he said, would cover various areas from manufacturing, distribution to consumers.