A HEART for deserving cases: Private hospital teams with Health Ministry on affordable healthcare

Pelancaran Program Health Equilty for affordable amp, Rapid Treatment (HEART). — KK SHAM/The Star

SHAH ALAM: A leading private hospital has started a public-private partnership (PPP) with the Health Ministry to offer affordable healthcare for the M40 and B40 groups.

The MSU Medical Centre (MSUMC), Management and Science University (MSU) and MSU Foundation, together with the ministry, launched the Healthcare Equity for Affordable and Rapid Treatment (HEART) project for selected patients to be monitored and treated at the private hospital with the costs borne by the foundation.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad, who launched the HEART programme on Thursday (April 25), said it was a significant PPP milestone, as one of the government’s key strategies was extending the ministry facility in the private health sector, utilising private hospital services to improve access to healthcare and to support the development of the private sector.

“Through this partnership, both the private and public sectors can work together closely, by sharing our expertise, facilities and resources, and complementing each other in providing healthcare in the country.

“In the long term, this kind of collaboration will address many unresolved issues about healthcare services, namely the problems of increasing further access, reducing waiting lines, service bottlenecks, talent development, incentives and training of ministry staff in the private sector and others.

“I hope this also helps reduce the workload and waiting times in public hospitals by outsourcing certain medical services and procedures to private hospitals,” he said in his speech.

Also present were MSU and MSUMC president Prof Tan Sri Dr Mohd Shukri Ab Yajid, MSU vice chancellor Prof Puan Sri Dr Junainah Abd Hamid, Deputy Health director-general (Medical) Datuk Indera Dr. Nor Azimi Yunus and other officials from the ministry, university and medical centre.

Through HEART, selected patients including the underprivileged will be monitored and referred by public hospitals to MSUMC’s Public Wings, where the surgery, management and treatment costs will be funded by MSU Foundation as part of its corporate social responsibility initiative.

This means MSUMC will become a cluster hospital and buffer zone for Hospital Tengku Ampuan Rahimah in Klang, Hospital Shah Alam and Hospital Sultan Idris Shah in Serdang for handling specific health cases requiring surgery.

Among the free surgical services offered include inguinal hernia repair and laparoscopic cholecystectomy (gall bladder removal).

Other services provided include first-class ward accommodation and coverage of other surgical costs.

The selection, assessment and long-term follow-up of patients under HEART will be overseen by the ministry.

In his speech, Prof Mohd Shukri said MSUMC aims to receive and help 50 patients a month.

“Today's accomplishment is an extension of our previous collaboration between the MSU and the ministry, particularly focusing on helping (ease) bottlenecks and reducing waiting times in public hospitals.

“Our goal is to ensure more efficient delivery of minor surgeries without the lengthy six- to nine-month waiting period,” he said.

He noted that the project presents valuable training opportunities for the institutions involved while laying a solid foundation for the management and care of patients.

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