The Malaysian Health Coalition (MHC) welcomes Dr Zaliha Mustafa as the new health minister, and congratulates her as Malaysia’s first female health minister. We pledge to offer support and constructive suggestions to her as necessary and wish her every success.
We suggest the following guiding principles for the new health minister’s first 100 days:
Continue With Reforms
With the double threats of the Covid-19 pandemic and an economic recession, the Ministry of Health (MOH) must prepare the public health care system to meet with a potential surge of patients. In the long run, we must reform our health system to make it healthier and more resilient.
The proposal to increase public health expenditure to 5 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2030 should be continued. We also urge the minister to continue with the work of the Health White Paper (HWP) and the Control of Tobacco Product and Smoking Bill 2022. We must continue the unfinished business as we embark on a multi-year journey of reforms to future-proof our health system and improve the wellbeing of the rakyat.
Care For Health Professionals
We are reassured that the minister has pledged to resolve the issue of contract doctors. We urge her to also simultaneously resolve the issue of all contract health professionals like dentists, pharmacists, nurses, paramedics, and other contract professionals.
There should also be improvements in their career progression, scholarships for further studies, fairer terms of service and a better work environment (including time to rest).
For this, we suggest expediting the establishment of a Health Reform Commission to provide guidance on how to strengthen the human capital for health in Malaysia.
Increase Focus On Social Determinants Of Health
The focus of the MOH cannot just be sick care or health care; it must be health and wellbeing. Health is broad, including early childhood education, nutrition, labour rights, social protections, and even air quality.
Many of these factors are not managed by the MOH. Therefore, it must establish strong inter-ministerial collaborations with other relevant ministries or agencies, and work together to improve the social determinants of health for every resident of Malaysia.
The MHC looks forward to working closely with the minister, and to building a Malaysia where all residents can receive the best health care whenever and wherever needed, without financial hardship. We look forward to a progressive five years ahead.
- Academy of Medicine Malaysia
- Association of Malaysian Optometrists
- 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 Enviromental Health
- Malaysian Association of Medical Assistants
- Malaysian Association of Speech-Language and Hearing
- Malaysian Coalition on Ageing
- Malaysian Dental Association
- Malaysian Family Medicine Specialists’ Association
- Malaysian Medical Association
- Malaysian Paediatric Association
- Malaysian Pharmacists Society
- Malaysian Public Health Physician Association
- Malaysian Society of Anaesthesiologists
- Malaysian Society of Clinical Psychology
- Malaysian Society of Geriatric Medicine
- Malaysian Society of Ophthalmology
- Malaysian Thoracic Society
- Medical Mythbusters Malaysia
- Medical Practitioners Coalition Association of Malaysia
- Assoc Prof Dr Uma Devi Palanisamy
- Dr Amar Singh-HSS
- Dr Khor Swee Kheng
- Prof Dr Asri Said
- Prof Dr Mohd Zamrin Dimon
- Prof Dr Roslina Abdul Manap
- Prof Dr Sharifa Ezat Wan Puteh
- Prof Dr Zaleha Abdullah Mahdy
- Sharipah Asiah Syed Junid Aljunid
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