The Galen Centre for Health and Social Policy welcomes the appointment of Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba as Malaysia’s 22nd Minister of Health.
The appointment of Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba and the two Deputy Ministers, Datuk Dr Noor Azmi bin Ghazali and Datuk Aaron Ago Dagang, comes at a critical time for the country.
Due to the ongoing threat of the Covid-19 global pandemic combined with the increasing health needs of the Malaysian population which are straining the resources of our healthcare system, the public health care sector requires firm, qualified and visionary leadership that is based on ground realities.
Long-term and people-centred policymaking to address current and future health challenges is very much needed. Malaysia has an ageing population and is approaching high-income country status, which requires the health sector and skilled workforce to keep pace with emerging population needs.
We would like to call on Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba to support the following two points:
- Commit to strengthening public health measures and surveillance for the Covid-19 outbreak to minimise local transmission of cases, and ensuring the health workforce is fully supported at the frontlines. Ensure that infectious disease prevention and control continues to be a priority for health security.
- Advance critical reforms to national health care financing to maintain sustainable quality and affordable health care for all Malaysians in the years to come, as previously emphasised by the Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
New health challenges such as Covid-19 are inevitable. Our resilience and preparedness to effectively respond depend on sound policies and investments made today. The previous administration set the bar high with bold initiatives in digital health, health prevention, and tobacco control measures.
Investments in innovative solutions and political commitments are still needed to address gaps which continue to exist in health service delivery and infrastructure in East Malaysia and rural communities. The people in Sarawak and Sabah need urgent attention to their health needs.
With the support of our public and private health care professionals, we urge the new minister to consult widely with stakeholders and depend on evidence-based policies and decision making.
Some of those may not have been popular in the past but they were needed. We hope the Minister and his colleagues will be steadfast in their resolve to protect the health of all Malaysians.
We wish Datuk Seri Dr Adham the best of luck!
- This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of CodeBlue.