KUALA LUMPUR: Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak can use his usual medication to control his high blood pressure if he wishes to, says Khairy Jamaluddin.
According to the Prison Department’s procedures, prisoners willing to purchase their own medications and opt not to take the ones provided by the Health Ministry “is not an issue”, said the Health Minister.
“I was made to understand this is allowed. We have also informed this to his family members,” said Khairy at the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) ceremony with IHH Healthcare Malaysia.
Najib was admitted to Hospital Kuala Lumpur on Monday, which saw his 1MDB trial at the Kuala Lumpur High Court on Tuesday postponed.
Senior lawyer Datuk Zaid Ibrahim pleaded with the Health Ministry to allow Najib to use his usual high blood pressure medication.
In a video posted on Facebook on the same day, Zaid hoped that Khairy could ensure that Najib received the best medication for his ailment.
“Don’t tell me we can’t give a former prime minister the usual medicine he takes? There’s no need to give him the generic drug.
“Even if we were to give him a little bit of special treatment, what’s wrong with that? It’s not extraordinary (treatment),” said Zaid.
On Tuesday, Khairy dismissed claims Najib had high blood pressure due to a change of medication.
He said the remarks that Najib’s blood pressure medication had been changed did not reflect the true situation.
He said the jailed former prime minister was given a generic high blood pressure medication when he was hospitalised at Hospital Kuala Lumpur, but the formula was the same medication the Pekan MP was previously taking.
Khairy added that he was made to understand that Najib was already allowed to use his medications while he was treated at Hospital Kuala Lumpur.
“He can continue to use it, and based on the current procedures, if the prisoner decides to buy it and the family members provide it through the Prisons Department, they will check it first. Once it is cleared, the prisoner can use the medication,” said Khairy.
Meanwhile, about the event, some 500 cancer patients referred from government hospitals will be fully sponsored to undergo treatment at IHH Healthcare Malaysia facilities after it inked an MOU with the Health Ministry.
Selected cancer patients will receive treatment through the IHH Healthcare Malaysia network, comprising Pantai Hospitals, Gleneagles Hospitals and Prince Court Medical Centre.
Under the terms of the MOU, IHH Healthcare Malaysia will fully sponsor radiotherapy and radiosurgery for 500 cancer patients undergoing treatments at government hospitals.These patients, identified and referred by the Ministry of Health and their designated specialists, will receive treatment across seven IHH healthcare Malaysia hospitals equipped with state-of-the-art technology, namely the Gamma knife and linear accelerator (Linac), to treat cancer.
Linac uses high-energy X-rays to treat tumours with high accuracy, whereas Gamma Knife is a high-precision radiation therapy used to treat tumours without the need to make an incision.
IHH Healthcare Malaysia chief executive officer Jean-François Naa said the MOU was a significant collaboration as it allowed its cancer centre facilities and resources in different parts of the country to be utilised to help cancer patients.
Dr Kelvin Loh, managing director and CEO of IHH, added that collaboration with like-minded stakeholders was one of the key ways they addressed some of the most pressing healthcare challenges at the time.
“We embrace IHH’s responsibilities as a leading healthcare provider and corporate citizen,” he said.