PUTRAJAYA: The country’s five university teaching hospitals have formed a strategic partnership in an effort to save costs and deal with budget cuts.
Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh said this could result in at least a 30% savings in the purchase of medication and medical equipment for them.
“Within three months (of forming this strategic partnership), you can see a real reduction in costs,” he told reporters after witnessing the signing of a memorandum of agreement (MoA) at his ministry yesterday.
The five hospitals are University of Malaya Medical Centre, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre, Universiti Sains Malaysia Medical Centre, International Islamic University Malaysia Medical Centre and Universiti Teknologi Mara Teaching Hospital.
The universities running these hospitals — Universiti Malaya, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), International Islamic University Malaysia and Universiti Teknologi Mara — signed the MoA to form the Public University Teaching Hospitals Consortium.
“As a sign of support, this strategic partnership will include Universiti Putra Malaysia, Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin, Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia, Universiti Malaysia Sabah, National Defence University of Malaysia and Universiti Malaysia Sarawak which offer medical courses but do not have their own teaching hospital.
“The initiative to form this consortium is an early step that we hope will make an impact and bring significant benefits to the development of the healthcare sector provided by the teaching hospitals,” he added.
He said it was to ensure the improvement and sustainability of the country’s healthcare sector.
Idris said teaching hospitals not only function as centres for healthcare learning, but were also healthcare service providers, specialist training centres, and innovation hubs for the healthcare and medical fields.
Among the benefits of the partnership are the sharing of facilities and expertise including the mobility of specialists and lecturers, developing the health tourism sector and more research and innovation collaboration.
He said he hoped more specialists can be trained at these hospitals.
USM vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Asma Ismail said the purchase of drugs and medical equipment could now be done in bulk and distributed among the members of the consortium.