CodeBlue Turns Five!

CodeBlue has turned 5 years old, with more than 16.3 million all-time views to date. We’re grateful for the deep trust of the health care profession, patients, and policymakers in us. CodeBlue’s success is only possible because of our relationship with our readers.

CodeBlue has turned five years old! Our actual 5th anniversary fell earlier on March 4, after CodeBlue was formed in 2019.

Throughout the past five years – during which we saw five health ministers – we have reported in-depth stories on not just the Covid pandemic, but also other major health care issues and policies on the public health service and private health care in Malaysia.

CodeBlue has achieved more than 16.3 million all-time views to date in just five years – as a niche media outlet in Malaysia that exclusively focuses on medicine and health care.

Some of our most significant stories and scoops include a letter to the editor by a pensioner who was discharged by the National Heart Institute (IJN); the declassification of liquid nicotine from the Poisons List that effectively legalised the sale of nicotine vape to children; the MySejahtera ownership and procurement scandal; the independent inquiry’s report on the 2016 fire tragedy at Sultanah Aminah Johor Bahru Hospital that has yet to be officially released by the government; and a 2019 Cabinet proposal to abolish the critical allowance for government doctors, pharmacists, dentists, nurses, and medical assistants entering public service in 2020 that was later scrapped.

CodeBlue also produced countless stories about the desperate on-the-ground situation during the Covid-19 pandemic, analyses of the acute epidemic contrasting official narratives, and the science behind Covid-19 vaccines to promote vaccination.

Covid nearly crippled Malaysia’s health care system, but the extensive impact of the pandemic on the public health service, including a spike of resignations among doctors, has not been fully addressed by reluctant administrations post-pandemic. 

Besides doctors, other health care professionals like pharmacists, nurses, and allied health care workers like assistant environmental health officers, or health inspectors, have also spoken up on CodeBlue about issues plaguing their profession.

We are deeply honoured that you have chosen CodeBlue as the platform to raise concerns when official channels fail – and, more importantly – to spotlight problems in the interest of transparency and accountability.

Often, when you write to CodeBlue, even on what appears to be a “small” issue that affects only a select group of people, you are actually advocating on behalf of others for better policies to benefit everyone. 

Because policymaking is, by nature, public, and not private. Whatever happens in the public health service affects ordinary Malaysians at large, even if the impact may not be seen immediately but only when it’s too late.

A shortage of housemen will eventually lead to a shortage of medical officers, and then a shortage of specialists that will affect not just the public sector, but the entire health care system. A dire shortage of nurses has already severely affected the public health service.

CodeBlue’s reports on private health care issues include a 2019 proposal to mandate prescriptions upon request and, most recently, the Federal Court’s landmark ruling, which held a private hospital liable for medical negligence, that is set to change the practice of medicine in Malaysia.

Over the past five years, many of our stories have led to better health care policies and positive actions, ranging from an individual contract medical officer who was released from his JPA bond to Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad’s speedy announcement that locum doctors would be paid for working extended hours on Sundays and public holidays at klinik kesihatan that provide the service. For the latter, we hope that the bureaucracy will translate the minister’s pledge into action as soon as possible.

Members of Parliament and state assemblymen on both sides of the divide, including some state governments, have often used CodeBlue stories to advocate for better health policies or to make change under their jurisdictions.

We are very grateful for the deep trust of the profession, patients, and policymakers in CodeBlue. 

CodeBlue’s success in reaching our fifth anniversary is only possible because of our close relationship with our readers and our work in holding the government accountable for health policies, regardless which party is in power. 

Moving forward, CodeBlue aims to continue delivering quality reportage on health care issues in Malaysia. We hope to continue gaining the trust of the medical fraternity in working together for better public health policies to improve the lives of private citizens. 

CodeBlue dares to report on such issues only because health care professionals and patients have the courage themselves to come forward to us to talk about their lived experiences that cannot be summarily dismissed by those in power.

Last but not least, we wish to thank health care clients who chose our platform to highlight their good work, knowing that they can reach a niche audience with CodeBlue. Your support helps keep the lights on.

Five years ago, we never imagined that we would reach the scale of impact and influence that we see today. Once again, thank you for trusting in CodeBlue.

Boo Su-Lyn is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of CodeBlue.

You may also like