KUALA LUMPUR: The Ministry of Health (MOH) is working on outlining several matters in an effort to provide placement to contract medical officers at its facilities, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.

Deputy Health Minister Datuk Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali said the matters include establishing a special committee to discuss amendments to several related laws and holding discussions with the Public Service Department (PSD) on the Pension Act.

"We are looking for ways to make improvements and provide flexibility to medical graduates," he said during at the question-and-answer session.

He was replying to a supplementary question from Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan (BN-Pontian) who had asked about the ministry's measures to address the shortage of specialist doctors and issues involving contract medical officers.

Dr Noor Azmi said improvements were constantly being made by the MOH, including by adding slots for medical officers to undergo specialist training and the Parallel Pathway programme.

Apart from that, he said the MOH provided various incentives to attract more Malaysian doctors working abroad to come back and work in the country.

To the original question from Teo Nie Ching (PH-Kulai) on the country's doctor-population ratio, Dr Noor Azmi said the government had set a target of having a ratio of one doctor for every 425 people next year.

He said the ratio was set based on five criteria, namely the country's total population and the number of patient visits, the category of MOH facilities, the scope of services provided for the facilities, level of care and disease burden.