The Health Bureau (SSM) has refuted allegations made in March this year by lawmaker José Pereira Coutinho in a letter to the government accusing the Bureau of unlawful behavior relating to the recruitment of nurses and other medical staff at the Public Hospital.
In a written reply to the lawmaker, the SSM noted that the allegations from Coutinho were unfounded, and further noted that the recruitment of health professionals was done according to the instructions of the Chief Executive and with the favorable opinion of the Labour Affairs Bureau.
The SSM also noted that such a need had to do with a “global problem which affects all medical institutions worldwide,” noting that the services have been improving in terms of the ratio of nurse per 1000 inhabitants, from 2.2 in the year 2000 to 3.7 last year.
The Bureau also noted that the current ratio of nurse per bed in Macau is one to six, a figure that surpasses that of both local private medical institutions and the neighboring regions.
The SSM remarked also that currently the services are balanced and there is no urgent need for recruitment, noting that the previous situation that resulted in the hiring of 30 people to perform duties in this field had to do exclusively with the outbreak of flu and did not reflect a long-term need.
The Bureau also refuted the allegations from the lawmaker that the government had opted for the hiring on non-local workers to pay a reduced salary. The lawmaker had claimed that the reduced salary for non-local medical workers was just one-third of that earned by locals. On this topic, the SSM also noted that the salaries paid to staff are determined according to the job’s duties and follow the principle of the “same payment for the same job.”
According to statistical data noted in the statement by the Health Bureau and signed by the director Lei Chin Ion, as of the end of March this year, there were a total of 97 non-resident workers on nursing duties in Macau, as well as 1,877 medical assistants in several areas such as nursing, dentistry and other auxiliary health care services.