I have been one of the first to voice out about the mushrooming of medical schools and the production of too many doctors as early as a few years ago. I have expressed my concern on the quality of new doctors as the sudden mushrooming of medical schools have resulted in an acute shortage of good medical teachers.
Now, even the ministry has acknowledged this fact and a moratorium is now in place to prevent granting of more license to set up more medical schools in the country.
ALready, our healthcare system is facing the problem of producing too many nurses.
Nurses are an important part of any hospital care. A good nursing standard is necessary to ensure that the hospital patients getting the care prescribed by the doctors, and very often the mental state of a patient is influenced by the manner in which nursing care is being dispensed to that particular patient, and that how that mental state ends up to be actually plays a crucial part in the recovery from an illness.
We are now producing more than 12000 nurses a year, and the requirement for new nurses is only about one to two thousand a year. There are now so many public and private colleges conducting nurses courses that i have lost tract, and nurses are being churned out like cars in an assembly line.
What has been noticed is that as a result of having so many nursing colleges in a short time, nursing standard is on the decline since the mushrooming of nursing colleges put strains on the availability of qualified teachers, as well as the practical aspects. Some of the nurses under training confessed that they sometimes have only one or 2 patients in the assigned hospital to practise their nursing skills, and this is grossly inadequate for them to perfect their nursing skills.
As a result, some of the nurses being produced are below par when compared to nurses produced in the 70s and 80s.
This is similar to the too many housemen problems that I have brought out in my serials on ‘a doctor too many I, II , III …..’
so i envisage that the good healthcare standard that was put in place by the British– I am against colonialism and am just uttering a fact — is now being slowly and surely been eroded, and that we are trying to replace quality with quantity.
The same thing is happening to the Medical lab technologists (those who conducts the blood tests in lab) as well as radiographers ( those helping the radiologists to take Xrays). There are simply too many of these, too!
I was told that even there are also too many pharmacists being produced. This will lead to competition and undercutting in future, and this will inevitably lead to some pharmacists, in order to survive, placing their own profitability ahead of their professional ethics.
The whole healthcare manpower situation is a mess.
This is the direct results of the mushrooming of private colleges and universities, set up by those who care not so much about the needs of the nation, but more for the profit that they can reap by setting up such colleges( Tuition fees are now many times higher than before). These people are usually those who have political connections and they can easily get licenses to set up and operate such colleges.
You would expect a college to have at least a few buildings and a small campus. But no, some of these colleges are housed in just a 4 storey building.
More importantly, because of the competition among each other for teaching staff, some of the teachers barely meet the minimum requirements and lack experience . Because of competition for sourcing students, student entry standard is also being compromised.
Professional course such as medicine, nursing, pharmaceutical field requires hospital and patients to train as basically these are apprenticeship. BUt with so many colleges and schools, there is just not enough training positions to ensure that these people get the proper training which they need to become a competent professional.
This leads to the state of having too many graduates in these fields which have little practical experience.
In the end, we will end up like in the Philipines, where doctors are being retrained as nurses, but with our nurses being in surplus too, maybe some of the nurses need to be retrain to become hospitals Amah and attendants. Don’t be surprised that some of thes health personnel will end up selling nasi lemak , chicken rice or roti canai by the road side.