The Malaysian Health Coalition (MHC) welcomes the efforts of the Ministry of Health (MOH) and health minister to reform Malaysia’s health system.
The Health White Paper (HWP) has been placed as the centrepiece at the recent Health Policy Summit 2022 (August 15-16, 2022), and the HWP will be tabled in Parliament in November or December.
The MHC agrees with the overall strategies and principles highlighted during the Health Policy Summit. We highlight three points for a holistic and effective HWP.
1. All Ministries Must Be Committed To ‘Health In All Policies’
We applaud the call by the health minister to shift the focus from ‘sick care’ to health care and general wellness. However, the burden to proactively create a healthy Malaysia cannot and should not be borne by a single ministry.
The proposed HWP must trigger a planned and systemic change across the whole public administration through different ministries and agencies. This is in line with the HWP’s mission to restructure health financing and tackle different health determinants, including social, environmental, educational, and economic aspects.
These are beyond the scope and power of the MOH alone. Therefore, we call for respective ministries to exhibit a similar commitment to ‘Health in All Policies’.
2. Proper Management Of Human Resources Is Crucial For The Health System
Human resources management in the civil service is crucial for the effective delivery of public health care services. While we welcome the creation of 4,000 permanent posts announced on August 16, 2022, we believe that we must tackle the root of the problem.
The HWP would serve as a suitable vehicle to strengthen the whole recruitment process, all the way from the undergraduate training level.
The HWP should also focus on the welfare and terms of service of all health care workers. This would include revising the remuneration rate, ensuring a fairer workload among health care workers, and an anti-bullying stance and safe workplace culture.
3. A Strong Implementation Body Must Be Appointed
We welcome the health minister’s statements about the need to re-evaluate the role of the MOH in the health system. For this and other reasons, we need a strong implementation body to be appointed to ensure the success of the HWP.
Therefore, we welcome the MOH’s idea to establish an independent Health Reform Commission, in line with the principles described in our previous joint statement dated July 12, 2022.
Even with current political instabilities the Commission can focus on strengthening our health system, despite any political transition.
Malaysia has to capitalise on this unique timing and garner political will to push for these long-overdue reform efforts. We look forward to a strategic HWP that can create a proactive and preventive health care system, and we pledge support to the MOH in these efforts.
- Association of Malaysian Optometrists
- Asthma Malaysia
- Dermatology Society of Malaysia
- IKRAM Health Malaysia
- Islamic Medical Association of Malaysia
- Lung Cancer Network of Malaysia
- Malaysian Association for Bronchology and Interventional Pulmonology
- Malaysian Association of Clinical Biochemists
- Malaysian Association of Dental Public Health Specialists
- Malaysian Association of Speech-Language and Hearing
- Malaysian Coalition on Ageing
- Malaysian Dental Association
- Malaysian Paediatric Association
- Malaysian Pharmacists Society
- Malaysian Society of Anaesthesiologists
- Malaysian Society of Clinical Psychology
- Malaysian Society of Geriatric Medicine
- Malaysian Society of Occupational Safety and Health
- Malaysian Thoracic Society
- Medical Practitioners Coalition Association of Malaysia
- National Cancer Society of Malaysia
- Perinatal Society of Malaysia
- Public Health Malaysia
- Assoc Prof Dr Uma Devi Palanisamy
- Dr Amar Singh-HSS
- Dr Jahizah Hassan
- Dr Khor Swee Kheng
- Prof Dr Mohd Zamrin Dimon
- Prof Dr Roslina Abdul Manap
- Prof Dr Zaleha Abdullah Mahdy
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