With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to rage on, more and more Malaysians are suffering mentally.
We have some bad news: Malaysia does not have enough psychiatrists to offer support to affected Malaysians.
Low supply of psychiatrists
Health Minister Adham Baba revealed that Malaysia’s psychiatrist-to-patient ratio was only ten per cent of the amount recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO), Malay Mail
Currently, there are only 268 psychiatrists registered with the Ministry of Health (MOH), while the country has a total of 400 psychiatrists.
Based on the WHO's recommendation, the psychiatrist-to-patient ratio should be one psychiatrist to every 10,000 patients.
Looking at our paltry numbers, Malaysia's current psychiatrist-to-patient ratio stands at a mere 0.1:10,000!
Dr Adham also revealed that based on our total population, we should ideally have 3,100 psychiatrists around the country.
Yeah, the number's not looking very good.
On top of that, it does not help that statistics from National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS 2019) further revealed that nearly half-a-million Malaysians exhibited symptoms of depression, while 424,000 children experienced mental health issues.
Despite that, the Ministry of Health is doing their best to ensure that affected Malaysians get all the help their need.
Dr Adham said that there are 62 hospitals across the country that offer mental health services, including four mental institutions.
Also, under Malaysia’s Mental Health Act 2001, there are also 25 Community Mental Health Centers (Mentari).
"There are 439 family health specialists who provide psychiatric services in 306 health clinics.
"All 1,001 health clinics in Malaysia offer psychiatric and mental health services via the promotion of depression anxiety stress scales," Dr Adham was quoted as saying in the report.
Alternatively, you can also get in touch with Befrienders by calling 03-76272929 if you need someone to talk to. Just remember that you are not alone, OK?