Congrats, Dr Dzul, And Thank You, Zaliha — APHM

APHM wants Health Minister Dr Dzul to be proactive with public-private partnerships. APHM also thanks his predecessor, Dr Zaliha Mustafa, for allowing private hospitals to hire foreign-trained nurses and engaging stakeholders on drug price transparency.

The Association of Private Hospitals Malaysia (APHM) would like to congratulate the newly appointed health minister, Dzulkefly Ahmad, who previously served in the Pakatan Harapan government from 2018 to 2020.

It will be refreshing to see the new leadership taking on and continuing the work of reforming health care in Malaysia through numerous efforts, notably the Health White Paper (HWP), which Khairy Jamaludin launched and was followed through by Dr Zaliha Mustafa.

Private hospitals are sure that Dzulkefly’s return will strengthen the strong cooperation and partnership with public hospitals that has been in place since the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. 

His predecessor, Dr Zaliha, faced numerous challenges as the country emerged from the epidemic in 2022, and even now, there are still many outstanding issues that need to be resolved.

APHM would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to Dr Zaliha for her efforts to grant private hospitals the authority to hire foreign nurses for a year, due to a severe shortage of locally trained nurses. This was a timely move during her tenure as health minister.

Dr Zaliha was also key in initiating medical service outsourcing, which can cut waiting times and congestion at public hospitals, while simultaneously promoting the development of the local pharmaceutical and medical device industries.

Another step undertaken during her term that was highly appreciated was engaging with stakeholders on drug price transparency.

We hope that Dzulkefly will take proactive steps to let the public-private partnership programme progress further, so that private hospitals can assist patients who have been waiting for treatment. 

Private hospitals are eager to investigate cloud-based clinic management systems at public clinics, which will facilitate referrals and treatments at an agreed-upon cost.

We hope that Dr Zaliha will be able to take the Federal Territories portfolio to greater heights, particularly in collaboration with her former ministry in managing some of the health concerns confronting the urban poor.

Private hospitals and general practitioners number the most in the Federal Territories, particularly in Kuala Lumpur. The city’s residents will benefit from any synergy within this area.

Dr Kuljit Singh is the president of the Association of Private Hospitals Malaysia (APHM).

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