Johor official claims M'sia lacks nurses as they are working for higher pay in S'pore

The official said that the number of nurses from Johor taking up employment in Singapore is growing.

Matthias Ang | May 20, 2022, 01:25 PM

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A Johor official has cited higher salaries in Singapore as one of the main reasons for a shortage of nurses in the Malaysian state, The Malay Mail reported.

Growing number of Malaysian nurses and doctors taking up employment in Singapore

According to Ling Tian Soon, the Health and Unity Chairman of Johor, the state has a shortage of between 15,000 to 18,000 nurses — a matter which he intends to raise with Malaysia's Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.

Ling added that many nurses and doctors have taken up employment in Singapore's healthcare sector.

He was quoted as saying:

"They (nurses and doctors) get better deals (in Singapore). The state government does not have the specific statistics on how many of our nurses and doctors work in Singapore, but the number is growing every year.

At present, more will find employment in Singapore due to the depreciating Malaysian ringgit."

According to The StarLing also noted, "I have a friend whose pay as a nurse in Singapore equals that of a specialist doctor in Malaysia due to the currency exchange rate."

The chairman made his remarks after officiating Johor's Nurses' Day celebration at a convention centre.

Shortage is not at a critical stage yet

Ling clarified that the shortage of nurses is not at a critical level yet, although it needs to be addressed so as to ensure that Johor's health services are not affected.

Currently, there are 12,533 nurses in Johor, with 8,777 of them working in public hospitals and 3,737 employed in private hospitals, he said.

The remaining 19 are on "contract status", he added.

The chairman also highlighted that the number of nursing vacancies in the state are "98 per cent filled".

However, this is still insufficient as there has been an increase in health programmes and services, on top of new hospitals requiring nurses. he said.

Ling also noted that the current ratio of nurses to patients is one nurse for 297 patients. when it should ideally be one nurse for 200 patients.

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Top photo via Gleneagles Hospital Medini Johor/ Facebook