Dr Ina Ismiarti (third right) presents a memento to Abang Johari, as Dr Sim (third left) and others look on. — Photo by Ukas

KUCHING (Aug 4): Sarawak Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg has highlighted the need to have more specialists trained in anaesthesiology and critical care in Malaysia.

According to him, there are currently 1,411 registered specialists in both areas in the country.

“The ratio of anaesthesiologist to the population in Australia is 1:9,000; and in the United Kingdom, it is 1:5,000. According to the World Federation of Society of Anaesthesiologists’ recommendation, a minimum of five physician anaesthesia providers per population of 100,000 is required to achieve reasonable healthcare.

“This is in line with the Medical Development Division of the Ministry of Health’s estimates on the specialist-to-population target in anaesthesiology and critical care in 2030: 1:20,000 in 2025, and 1:18,000 (respectively).

“Therefore, the number-crunching means our greatest challenge in the coming decade is to train more specialists.

“We have to increase anaesthesia care delivery not only in absolute volume but in complexity, as well to meet the demands of developments in surgical and perioperative medicine,” he said when officiating at the Annual Scientific Congress 2023 at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) today, where Deputy Premier Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian and Malaysian Society of Anaesthesiologists (MSA) president Prof Dr Ina Ismiarti Sharifuddin were also present.

On a related subject, Abang Johari commended the MSA and the College of Anaesthesiologists (CoA) for the successful organisation of the Global Surgery Initiative (GSI) in Sri Aman and in Miri recently.

He said Sri Aman Hospital was chosen as the location for the first-of-its-kind corporate social responsibility (CSR) project, where medical professionals from the private sector collaborated with the public healthcare system in identifying district hospitals in need of surgical services.

A total of 37 patients were successfully operated on during the programme, marking a significant achievement for the GSI at the hospital, which was conducted on March 12-19.

“In addition, another GSI was also carried out in Miri Hospital from July 24 to 28, where a total of 31 surgeries were successfully performed,”

According to Abang Johari, GSI is a public-private partnership that aims to provide access to safe and affordable surgical and anaesthesia care in underserved areas across Malaysia.