KUALA LUMPUR, March 6 – The Federation of Private Medical Practitioners’ Associations, Malaysia (FPMPAM) urged the government today to form a royal commission on health care in Malaysia.
FPMPAM president Dr Steven Chow referred to Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii’s interview with CodeBlue, in which the DAP lawmaker urged Health Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa to announce the way forward, before her 100th day in office this Sunday, for multiple problems in the beleaguered public health service.
“As doctors, we can clearly see that something is not going right,” Dr Chow said in a statement.
“Has the MOH (Ministry of Health) been on autopilot all these years? It is our duty to whisper, talk, and engage with our patients and the rakyat. They are the people that matter in present and future health care policies.”
Dr Chow repeated calls for a royal commission on health care that was first proposed at the Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Oration, Ministry of Health/ Academy of Medicine Malaysia (MOHAM) Congress 2017 by Dr Yeoh Poh Hong.
“All the past fire-fighting measures by the MOH have been proven to fail,” Dr Chow said.
“Health care is a basic right of the rakyat and not a commodity to be bought and sold in the normal marketplace. Health care policies and decisions must encompass the views of the rakyat, the doctor and their patients, all health care professionals and not just those dressed in business suits secretly huddled around financial spreadsheets in corporate boardrooms around the country.
“The Federation urges all lawmakers on both sides of the House to take time and engage your constituents, patients, doctors and all health care professionals to collectively create an environment of mutual participation in our future healthcare policy.”
Dr Zaliha has yet to propose or commit to substantive solutions to complaints from health care workers, particularly doctors, about overwork and low wages amid anecdotal severe staff shortages, despite holding a town hall with medical practitioners in the public service last month.
The minister previously said she plans to table the Health White Paper – a document illustrating proposed health care reforms over a period of 15 years – in Parliament by June.