Tackle rising healthcare costs and Covid-19, minister urged

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 11 Mar 2020

PETALING JAYA: Health groups have made clear that the new minister must deal with urgent issues such as rising healthcare costs and the Covid-19 outbreak.

“The handling of the Covid-19 situation, the issues of contract officers and the welfare of healthcare workers are urgent areas that will need to be addressed,” said Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) president Dr N. Ganabaskaran.

“It is also hoped that the Health Ministry under the new leadership will look into more allocation of funds for public healthcare and the sustainability of our nation’s healthcare,” he said in a statement yesterday.

The newly appointed Health Minister is Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba, while his two deputies are Datuk Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali and Datuk Aaron Ago Dagang.

Ganabaskaran said the appointment of two deputy ministers showed that the ministry was viewed as a priority.

He noted that both Dr Adham and Dr Noor Azmi were trained doctors who had served in the country’s healthcare system.

“We believe this will be a plus point and beneficial in policy-making of our nation’s healthcare,” he said.

Ganabaskaran said that the rising cost of healthcare for serious illnesses remained a concern among the people, and policies such as the smoking ban at restaurants should be continued.

Fomca chief executive officer Datuk Paul Selvaraj said the new appointees would have to tackle significant issues.

“For one, there is the Covid-19 outbreak,” he said, citing also a need to focus on increasing the budget for public healthcare.

“They have to concentrate on making public healthcare more accessible and affordable,” he said.

He said that at the end of the day, it was the delivery of good healthcare services that counts.

Breast Cancer Welfare Association president Ranjit Kaur hoped that the newly appointed minister and deputies would carry out their duty to the people, especially in terms of cancer care.

“We need them to overcome the shortage of specialists in cancer care. The government can buy cancer services from private hospitals.

“Every state should have resident cancer care specialists in hospitals where surgery for cancer is done and they should work as a team,” she said.

She said the government should look into reducing waiting time and to cease charging higher consultation fees for patients referred to government hospitals from private hospitals.

Association of Private Hospitals of Malaysia president Datuk Dr Kuljit Singh said he hoped that the private healthcare sector would continue to work well with the ministry.
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healthcare costs , coronavirus , outbreak


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