The Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) welcomes the Ministry of Health’s (MOH) plans to draw up a white paper on the reformation of health care in Malaysia, and hopes the ministry will work towards these efforts through a whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach.
We are also in support of the establishment of a Health Reform Commission that will be accountable to Parliament.
MMA has repeatedly called for reforms in our health care system and the setting up of a health commission. We have also over the years, put forward a number of policy proposals towards the needed reforms.
Countries around the world are facing challenges in implementing health care reforms, with some health ministers not surviving a full term. We are indeed pleased that the minister is taking the bull by its horns by expressing a stronger commitment towards health care reforms with the announcement of its white paper.
To quote the health minister from a speech given at the recent MMA Awards Night: “Every health minister will want to do good for the health care system of the country but ministers come and go. Let us come up with health policies that will survive the health ministers.”
We are indeed on the same page with the minister on this, as we need to look beyond a minister’s term of service, especially when it comes to health care, with the needs of the people increasing.
Some of the current policies are outdated and it is affecting the standard and delivery of care.
We wish to state that MMA is committed on its stand to aspire towards a reformed, efficient health care system for the country that will not remain an elusive dream but will become a reality that all of us in Malaysia can be proud of.
For those with deep pockets who can always cross the border for perceived better health care, it may not be an issue that will cause them sleepless nights, but for the rest of us, a reformed health care system that caters to everyone, providing the best of care equally among the populace, it will mean everything in their life to them.
Going forward, we wish to add that health care reforms should not rest on the shoulders of MOH alone, but carried out with an all-of-government and all-of-society approach. It should receive bipartisan support. Health care should also never be politicised.
Dr Koh Kar Chai is president of the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA).
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