Old data suggested oversupply, says Health Minister on initial decision to halt scholarships

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PETALING JAYA: The Public Services Department’s (JPA)earlier decision to discontinue medical, dental and pharmacy scholarships was due to an earlier Health Ministry study that forecasted an oversupply, says Dr Zaliha Mustafa.


The Health Minister said the “Supply and Needs-based Requirement Projections of Malaysian Human Resources for Health Using Dynamics Approach” study showed that there could be an oversupply in these disciplines from 2026 to 2030.

“However, the study was conducted using data from 2008 to 2015, which does not reflect the present situation; new health manpower can be upgraded with the latest changes in health and medical services after 2015,” said Dr Zaliha in a statement on Tuesday (June 13).

She added that the needs of health services post Covid-19, the changes in managing diseases, advent of medical technology and the needs of specialised services in the public and private sector led to a change in the earlier decision.

Dr Zaliha also said that the Health Ministry welcomed the decision by the Prime Minister to continue to offer medical, dental and pharmacy scholarships and would conduct a new study to review the nation’s real needs for all types of health manpower.


“With this, the distribution and needs of health personnel for the country can be mapped out and assessed clearly, which could also be used as an evidence-based implementation plan in the White Paper strategy on health,” she said.

“The Health Ministry will continue discussion with JPA to ensure the policies and health planning mapped out is accurate and meet the needs of the people,” added Dr Zaliha.

– The Star

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