Think tank: New Health Minister needed urgently

PETALING JAYA: Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin must quickly identify and appoint a Health Minister as the Covid-19 outbreak appears to be on the cusp of a pandemic, says a think tank.

Galen Centre for Health and Social Policy chief executive Azrul Mohd Khalib said the new government must place the response and management to Covid-19 at the highest priority to protect the health and safety of all Malaysians.

“The appointment will fill a critical gap in the leadership of the country’s public health system, particularly for the Covid-19 multiministerial taskforce.

“He or she will need to ensure that our critical frontline healthcare professionals and supporting services continue to be provided with adequate logistics, manpower and funding.

“This will ensure that our health services are able to maintain its efforts to contain the disease and treat those infected, ” he said in a statement.

Azrul said a strong and competent leadership makes a difference in managing the Covid-19 outbreak.

He also credited the Health Ministry’s personnel for their exemplary response in managing Covid-19 cases in the country.

However, he pointed out that the role of the Health Minister was now “more essential than ever” based on World Health Organisation’s latest risk assessment on Covid-19, in terms of spread and impact.

“We appear to be on the precipice of a pandemic, if we’re not already in one. The role of the Health Minister is essential to communicate developments and progress to the public on the ongoing efforts by the government to curtail the health threat, ” he said.

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