Long waits in Malaysia's clinics

The heavy workload in the outpatient department of government clinics and hospitals is contributing to long waits by patients.

Deputy Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahaya said the government was aware of patients' complaints, but long waits were unavoidable, especially in big cities.

"We are looking at extending the outpatient service beyond its regular operating hours."

Hilmi was replying to a question by Senator Datuk Syed Ibrahim Kader on the action that had been taken to address the long waits in government health facilities.

Hilmi said the ministry had implemented the "e-masa" system, which had shown that 87.3 per cent of patients waited fewer than 30 minutes to be treated.