Malaysia is at a critical juncture, with the Covid-19 pandemic spreading unchecked, and health care services overrun in crisis states. Most national strategies so far are demonstrably failing and Covid-19 is becoming endemic in Malaysia.
We would like to offer a Health Emergency Action Plan (HEAP) that serves as a roadmap to recovery. This plan aims to offer ideas and make suggestions, and is not intended to apportion blame or point fingers at any quarters.
The HEAP is based on three guiding principles:
- Trust is crucial to fighting the pandemic and this is based on transparency;
- There must be an all-of-society approach;
- We need a set of solutions that is not based on lockdowns.
The full document with ideas and suggestions is available from this downloadable link. The open0source document is made freely available for use. We also welcome all those who can improve on these recommendations.
The key thrust of our recommendations are:
1. Stopping the community spread of Covid-19 by having a comprehensive national testing strategy, which includes tracing all contacts, enabling public self-tests, allowing home quarantine with monitoring, and limiting non-critical social interaction.
2. Ramping up genome testing to monitor Covid-19 variants.
3. Increasing support for public hospitals and clinics by improving conditions for contract staff, growing ventilation and ICU capacities, ensuring respites for staff, and ensuring a multi-sectoral approach with civil society support.
4. Data transparency and sharing with the public is important. The media should be engaged as partners to communicate better metrics that can monitor the pandemic and hospital situations, as well as to combat rumours and fake news.
5. Strong co-operative leadership is vital. We propose a national coordinating unit that reports to the Cabinet and to Parliament. Decision-making should be decentralised to states to enable local action to be taken rapidly.
6. The National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (PIC) needs to be improved, with less reliance on mega vaccination centres (PPV), and better use of health clinics, school health teams and general practitioners. Outreach programmes are necessary to reach those unable to register, as well as to non-citizens. Equitable vaccination distribution is important for all states.
7. Community responsibility and support is integral to making headway in the battle against the pandemic. This requires simpler, science-based SOPs, using RTK-Ag testing, significant improvements in workplace ventilation, and a financial safety net for the poor.
We realise that the worst is yet to come, and call for urgent effective action backed by political will and competence.
Although there have been calls of an all-of-society approach, this has not happened due to limited public engagement.
Now, more than ever, we need to come together and work to lift our nation out of this turmoil.
- Academy of Medicine Malaysia (AMM)
- Association of Malaysian Optometrists (AMO)
- College of Anaesthesiologists, Academy of Medicine Malaysia (COA, AMM)
- College of Physicians, Academy of Medicine Malaysia (COP, AMM)
- Malaysian Association of Dental Public Health Specialists
- Malaysian Association of Environmental Health (MAEH)
- Malaysian Medical Association Public Health Society (MMA PHS)
- Malaysian Pharmacists Society (MPS)
- Malaysian Society of Anaesthesiologists (MSA)
- Malaysian Society of Clinical Psychologists (MSCP)
- Malaysian Society of Intensive Care (MSIC)
- Malaysian Society of Occupational Safety and Health (MSOSH)
- Medical Assistants Association of Malaysia (PPPM)
- Medical Practitioners Coalition Association of Malaysia (MPCAM)
- National Cancer Society of Malaysia (NCSM)
- Obstetrical & Gynaecological Society of Malaysia (OGSM)
- Perinatal Society of Malaysia (PSM)
- Persatuan Dermatologi Malaysia (PDM)
- Public Health Physicians Association of Malaysia (PPPKAM)
- Malaysian Health Coalition (MHC)
- Prof Dr Ahmad Hata Rasit
- Dr Andre Das
- Mr Amrahi Buang
- Dr Azlina Firzah Abdul Aziz
- Prof Dr Asri Said
- Dr Christopher Ho Chee Kong
- Dr Hung Liang Choo
- Dr Khor Swee Kheng
- Dr Koh Kar Chai
- Dr Margaret Leow Poh Gaik
- Prof Dr Lim Kean Ghee
- Prof Dr Roslina Abdul Manap
- Prof Dr Sharifa Ezat Wan Puteh
- Assoc Prof Dr Shireen Nah
- Dr Siow Sze Li
- Assoc Prof Dr Uma Devi Palanisamy
- Prof Dr Zaleha Abdullah Mahdy
- Dr Zulkifli Ismail
- This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of CodeBlue.