Nurses, medical assistants, x-ray technicians and health inspectors in Malaysia will have a pay increase as amend by the new integrated graduate scheme by the Health Ministry.
The Health Minister of Malaysia, Datuk Liow Tiong Lai, said that the pay increase aims to improve the quality of care given by medical personnel to their patients.
“I hope these graduates provide healthcare services by not just stressing knowledge and skills but also possess positive values in patient care,” the minister said.
Currently the highest pay for nurses in Malaysia is only grade U48.
The memorandum of understanding was signed between the Health Ministry and 24 public and private institutions of higher learning allowing the use of its facilities during healthcare education activities.
Nurses who are receiving pay grades of U41 will now receive U54. Basic salary of degree-holder nurses with grade U41 is about RM2,000 per month excluding housing, personal, cost-of-living, critical post and public service allowances. While the base pay for nurses at U48 is RM8,000 including allowances.
Nurses who have Masters Degree and have served more than 20 years with the necessary experience, skills and competence can reach the highest paying grade of U54 and can be paid up to RM10,000.
The pay increase also aims to discourage nurses in leaving the country and looking for better opportunity in Middle East countries since Malaysia is experiencing a shortage of nurses. There is only one nurse for 375 residents.
“We need to reach one nurse to 200 residents to meet World Health Organization standards by 2015,” Liow said.
“This should be good news for nurses. Malaysia cannot continue to have cheap labor. If we want to retain our workers, we can’t pay them any less,” he added.
According to Liow, Malaysia has trained some 6,000 nurses in 27 Health Ministry colleges, 10 public and 54 private institutions offering nursing education.