SEGAMAT - Male nurses only make up about 1.7 per cent of the 117,000 nurses nationwide, said Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam.
"Out of all the nurses we presently have, fewer than 2,000 are male, despite the Government undertaking measures like loosening the criteria to be a male nurse to encourage more men to join the field," he said.
Dr Subramaniam emphasised that there was a great need for male nurses in the healthcare system, and urged more men to make use of this opportunity,
He said more than 1,200 nurses graduated from government nursing colleges alone each year while many more came from private higher education institutions.
"We aim to take in 1,500 public nursing college graduates each year to fill the vacancies in both government and private hospitals in the country," he told reporters after attending the district-level Community Health Camp held in conjunction with Nurses and Teachers Day celebrations at the district's multipurpose hall here yesterday.
Dr Subramaniam also said that the profession has evolved from the traditional bedside care provider to a job that is highly technical in nature.
"Now, they play a much more important role ranging from providing nursing diagnosis to planning patients' healthcare regime according to their needs," he added.