Decentralising public healthcare must begin at grassroots level

A PROFESSIONAL opinion published on Sunday suggested the reform of our national public healthcare system should be a process of decentralisation to improve efficiency and response, to better coordination of responses to natural disasters at the local level, to increase accessibility to underserved populations, and to promote innovative solutions to longstanding service issues (“Healthcare decisions should be decentralised to improve delivery of services”, by Dr Helmy Haja Mydin, Health Matters, StarHealth, March 26; online at

One must first recognise that the Health Ministry has done well in managing the heavy burden of providing for the nation’s healthcare needs, including monitoring and responding to health threats, and regulating the healthcare industry in all its dimensions. And it does all this despite resource and budget constraints.

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