Health Manpower Forecasting in Malaysia
Ayu, Sri Fajar
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Fülöp and Mejía (1998) believed that manpower in health requires the longest preparatory period of all the health resources and cannot be improvised. It is also subject to a certain inherent inertia, in that the rigidity of the health and education systems and the attitudes of health workers do not make for easy mobility or conduce to improving geographical and occupational distribution. Nor can manpower be stored or discarded. If it is to be available at the proper time, it has to be planned for in advance in the right amount and type, no more and less than is needed. Because they are subject to obsolescence, manpower abilities and skills also need to be maintained by means of permanent supervision and continuing education. So, it is necessary and important to keep planning, especially forecasting health man power needs. Specifically, the objective of this paper is to forecast the needs of man power in health sector in year 2010, in order to deliver the equitable and high quality health care. The data collected for the forecasting purpose using the two methods (ratio of health manpower-output and manpower requirement approach (MRA) are the yearly data of the number of doctors, dentist, nurses, assistant of nurses and GDP others in Malaysia for the period of 1975 to 2004. Based on the result of the two methods, it is can be seen that different method gives different result. In forecasting, especially the preparation, as suggest by Hall (1998) there is no best method. It is worth to try different method in order to see it in the different angle. The important things from the result are the implication to the decision maker. Based on the forecasting it is found that there is an increasing demand for health manpower in the future. In order to fulfill this, the decision maker need to make the adequate preparation, such as training that show result in rather short time compare to educate young people. Another possibility is to contract the manpower from outside of the country such as from India, Myanmar, Pakistan, or Indonesia.