Malaysia is in a dire need of more oncologists as the number of cancer cases in the country is on the rise.
According to the Health Minister, Datuk Dr. Liow Tiong Lai, there are only 39 oncologists in the country at the moment, a number far cry from an ideal figure of 200.
Ideally, for every 1 million people, there should be 8 oncologists serving the population. For a country with 26 million population, the situation looks alarming.
The government has taken initiative to hire foreign oncologists but the new recruits are still insufficient to handle between 30,000 to 40,000 new cases every year. The National Cancer Registry Report published way back in 2002 also indicated that Malaysia ranks among the countries with most cases of nasopharyngeal, laryngeal and cervical cancers.
Oncology is a medical specialization that deals with the study of tumor and cancer related cases. An oncologist may be involved in physiotheraphy, clinical genetics, diagnosis counseling and so on, just to name a few.