MP asks if there is an over-supply of graduate nurses and wants the Health Ministry to review its intake programmes for trainees
TAWAU Feb 27, 2012: The Health Ministry must explain the high unemployment among the government-trained nurses in Sabah, Tawau MP Chua Soon Bui said.
She said she was shocked and upset to receive complaints from the parents of trained nurses who were finding it difficult to gain placement in government hospitals in the state.
“They were even told to seek jobs in private hospitals and clinics,” she told a news conference here yesterday.
“Many of these unemployed trained nurses are from the interior of Sabah, especially in the rural areas in Tawau,” she said, explaining why the parents of these nurses had come to her.
She said the recent statement by Abu Bakar Othman, senior deputy director of the State Management Training Unit (Federal Health Department), that the appointment or recruitment of nursing trainees depended on their personal excellence and achievement, was insulting to those nurses who have graduated from the government nurses training colleges, the Tawau Nursing Community College in particular.
Abu Bakar was reported to have said this while launching the occupational safety and health campaign at Tawau Nursing Community College, recently.
“Does this mean that our nursing college graduates are not up to the mark and thus are not employable, or is there an over-supply situation in Sabah?” she asked.
Graduates struggling to service loans
Chua, who is a vice-president of Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP), said if that is the rationale behind the current high unemployment rate among government-trained nurses, then the Health Ministry must review its intake programmes for trainee nurses.
She noted that many young Sabah girls who had failed to enrol into the government-run community nursing training colleges were forced to enrol in private nursing training colleges.
Chua said many of the nursing college graduates were from the poor families and are now struggling to service the loans they have taken to fund their training at these private nursing training colleges.
“Their parents are now in debt while they are unemployed. This is a serious matter in our community now,” she said.
She warned that if the ministry or department concerned failed to address the issue, the already high unemployment rate among the youths in the state would steadily rise.
Chua also said the current nursing programme appeared to be a gross waste of the taxpayers’ money.