SHAH ALAM, May 12 — The government has agreed to pay a RM100 monthly cash incentive to specialist nurses who have obtained post-basic qualification in 26 clinical specialisation and critical care fields.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said the government had expanded the list of critical care and clinical specialisation to 26 fields from the initial 18 to encourage more nurses to specialise.
“The government, since 2007, has approved post-basic incentive payments of RM100 per month to all nurses of the ministry who hold post-basic certificates in one of the 18 fields of critical care and clinical specialisation.
“We are now expanding it to another eight fields, and this has taken effect from April 1 this year,” he told a press conference after launching International Nurses Day celebrations here today.
The eight additional specialisations are in the field of infection-control treatment, HIV/AIDS counselling, diabetes management, gastrointestinal endoscopy, primary healthcare, rehabilitation, forensics and sports medicine.
The initial 18 fields included specialisations in the intensive care unit, midwifery, public health and cardiac care unit.
Liow said the post-basic certificate course, which lasts between six months and a year, was equivalent to an advanced diploma and it would help nurses give better care to patients.
He said the country was facing a shortage of specialist or special care nurses, with only 21,814 nurses having post-basic qualifications from a total of 96,598.
On another matter, Liow said the ministry had applied to the Public Service Department for an additional 9,000 nurses to meet the current shortage.
He said there were about 66,000 nurses in public service and more than 30,000 in the private sector.
There are 113 training institutions, colleges and universities which offer courses in nursing, added the minister. — Bernama