Johor is facing a shortage of nurses and needs approximately 15,000 to 18,000 more, says state health and unity committee chairman Ling Tian Soon.
He said this was because Malaysian nurses received attractive offers from Singapore, citing as well the increase in the number of hospitals as among the factors causing a shortage of nurses in the state.
“There are now 12,533 nurses in Johor, with 8,777 at public hospitals and 3,756 at private hospitals.
“When I made an official visit to the private and government hospitals in Johor recently, most of the health personnel voiced concern that many graduates are leaving for neighbouring countries as they get attractive salary offers.
“They work as nurses in Singapore, but their salary is equal to that of a specialist doctor in Malaysia due to the currency exchange rate,” he told reporters after launching the state-level International Nurses Day celebration in Johor Bahru today.
Ling said there was also a possibility that more Malaysians, including doctors, would migrate to Singapore to find better job opportunities. However, he said the state government would intensify its efforts to attract them to serve in Johor.
Ling also said that the shortage of nurses in the state was still under control and that he would bring up the matter with Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin soon.
He also voiced hope that the government would offer more nursing courses, which could produce more nurses to serve at both government and private hospitals.