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The Ministry of Health (MOH) is opening up opportunities for more medical officers to further their studies in the field of geriatrics in order to produce more specialists in the field, said Deputy Health Minister Lukanisman Awang Sauni.

Lukanisman said that so far MOH has only 34 medical specialists who focus on the health and care for the elderly.

Besides increasing the number of specialists in the field, Lukanisman said MOH will also increase geriatric services through existing ministry facilities not only in Selangor but also throughout the country in line with the wishes of the Sultan of Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah who wants the government to focus on such services.

"The World Bank Group 2020 study on Malaysia shows that not all senior citizens are aging healthily. In general, Malaysia shows an increase of chronic diseases in line with the increase in life expectancy.

"This is proven by the results of the National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS) 2018 which revealed that 50 per cent of the elderly suffer from hypertension and hyperlipidemia, while another 28 per cent suffer from diabetes," he said.

He told reporters after the opening ceremony of the Selangor 2023 International Day for Older Persons celebration and Selangor 3.0 Healthy Campaign at Dataran Kemerdekaan, Shah Alam, here today.

Lukanisman said due to the results of the survey, MOH geriatric facilities need to provide better physiotherapy services and meet the needs of the elderly in Malaysia apart from providing more comprehensive care services.

He said the Ministry of Health will also establish a National Geriatrics Centre which is currently being discussed to provide more comprehensive services to senior citizens.

Earlier, Sultan Sharafuddin together with the Tengku Permaisuri of Selangor Tengku Permaisuri Norashikin today graced the opening ceremony of the programme.

The royal couple was received upon arrival by Lukanisman and Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency