PUTRAJAYA: The public has been told not to worry about the hot weather that is hitting several states now, as the situation is being closely monitored by the Ministry of Health (MOH), said its minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad.

He said MOH will also make an announcement regarding school closures, if there is a need to do so based on the study by Health director-general Datuk Seri Dr Muhammad Radzi Abu Hassan.

"Don't worry, as soon as there is a situation like (closing schools), (we) will immediately make an announcement," he told the media after attending the Medical Devices Authority's (MDA) Excellent Service Award Ceremony here today.

Dr Dzulkefly said this when asked on the need to close schools due to hot weather, and yesterday as Minister of Natural Resources and Environmental Sustainability Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad was reported to have said that the hot weather following the El Nino phenomenon in the country is expected to continue until July.

He said the existing standard operating procedure (SOP) in relation to hot weather including reducing outdoor activities in schools still remains, with the Ministry of Education including headmasters been instructed not to allow students to carry out outdoor activities if the temperature is at 35 degrees Celsius for three consecutive days as a preventive measure.

In another development, Dr Dzulkefly said the implementation plan to deal with the shortage of graduate medical officers (PPS) in district hospitals will be announced in the near future.

"Tonight (there is) an emergency meeting with the Ministry of Health's top management to deal with this matter (and) in a day or two, the implementation plan will be announced," he said.

On April 26, Dr Dzulkefly reportedly ordered the management of the Ministry of Health at the central and state levels to examine the workload issue at the hospital as well as re-evaluate the actions that have been taken regarding the placement and working methods of PPS.

He said the country once went through a phase of dumping medical graduates between 6,000 and 7,000 per year but now there are less than 3,000 per year causing the number of PPS in hospitals to decrease.

At the ceremony, Dr Dzulkefly also launched the Medical Devices Authority (MDA) strategic plan 2024-2028 in transforming the agency towards an international standard regulatory operation.

The plan, according to him reflects MDA's determination to be at the forefront of quality control, safety assurance and industry regulation.