As the COVID-19 situation continues to worsen day by day in Malaysia, the Ministry of Health (MOH) announced that they are looking to recruit 2,000 retired medical officers to assist frontliners
In a press conference yesterday, 23 March, Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the ministry is targeting to recruit 2,000 retired doctors and nurses as the country hitherto recorded a total of 1,518 COVID-19 cases.
"We are in the process to increase our human resources, be it nurses or doctors," said Dr Noor Hisham.
"If medical officers (MO), we have to train them first, hence we are looking at those with experience, namely retired nurses and specialists that could assist us."
He explained that the move is to enhance its health services, particularly in the management of COVID-19 patients.
Dr Noor Hisham's announcement came after Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said that the government is allocating an additional RM600 million to the MOH amidst the outbreak
In an earlier press conference, Muhyiddin said RM500 million will be used procure additional equipment such as ventilators, personal protective equipment (PPE), as well as equipment and facilities needed for intensive care units (ICU) and COVID-19 screening laboratories.
While the remaining RM100 million will be used to appoint 2,000 medical officers on a contractual basis, especially nurses.
"A lot of nurses and medical officers are burning out. They are forced to work both day and night shifts to screen and treat COVID-19 patients," Muhyiddin lamented.
"I hope the new appointments could be made immediately to ensure hospitals in the country have sufficient number of workers to prevent the spread of COVID-19."
SAYS managed to reach out to one of the earliest respondents to the government's plea for retired health professionals to return
A nurse, who only wants to be known as Biby, retired as a nurse in 2016. Following the government's announcement yesterday, she has enlisted herself back to service.
In a phone interview with SAYS, Biby, who had served Malaysia for over 25 years and spent about 13 years in the UK, said she has the experience in handling infection outbreaks.
"I used to work in the UK and experienced a lot of infection control cases," related the 68-year-old, explaining that the UK had many flu infections during the winter months.
"I know the frontliners are tired. I can help out in the lighter duties, and in return, relieve some of the frontliners' responsibilities."
"I hope to contribute whatever I have... whatever I can in my own little way."
Read more COVID-19 stories on SAYS: