Challenges in childcare services leave little choice for mothers who wish to work
Childcare utilization in Malaysia is low. (Based on MPFS-5 survey in 2014, only 14.4% of working women are using childcare services. ) The lack of childcare centres, high number of unregistered childcare centres (thereby affecting confidence levels), and the high (and increasing) cost of childcare services are some of the main reasons contributing to low childcare utilisation in Malaysia. These challenges leave Malaysian mothers little choice between staying home to care for their children themselves or to continue their employment.
Childcare Challenges in Malaysia
Malaysians find that the government needs to increase its provision of childcare centres, and to also manage the fees of these centres.
Shortage of qualified professionals in special and long-term care
There is a shortage of care personnel/caregivers in meeting the demand for special care services. Although the number of care personnel/caregivers in community based rehabilitation centres and care centres had increased from 21,575 in 2010 to 24,814 in 2015, the ratio of care personnel/caregivers to people with disabilities (PWDs) is worsening. (In 2013, the ratio was 1 care personnel/caregiver to 11 PWDs; in 2015, the ratio had worsened to 1 to 15 PWDs.) Similarly, in the eldercare sector, Malaysia lacks of trained personnel in geriatric health care.
The impending challenges of geriatric care does not only include the shortage of geriatricians but also the quality of care and functional geriatric units.
(Although geriatric was recognized as a subspecialty in Malaysia in the early 1990s, over 20 years later, there are only 23 qualified geriatricians serving a population of over 1.4 million older adults, most of which have gone into private practice.) The Women, Family and Community Development has predicted that by 2020, Malaysia would need at least 700 geriatricians (for 3.4 million older adults) nationwide.
Shortage of Caregivers and Specialists for the Less Fortunate and Elderly
Malaysians find that the provision of elder care and special care centres are lacking in the country, while the costs of these services are also becoming more unaffordable.