Kuala Lumpur, 19 May 2018 – The Galen Centre for Health and Social Policy warmly welcomes the appointment of Dr. Dzulkefly Ahmad as Malaysia’s 21st Minister of Health.
Commenting on the appointment, Chief Executive Azrul Mohd Khalib said, “Dr. Dzulkefly’s appointment is a positive sign that the Government is taking the issue of Health very seriously. Malaysia has an ageing population, more people living with chronic and non-communicable diseases, rising diversity of needs and expectations of care and services. All of this is happening during a time when medical inflation is at double digits, the public healthcare system under enormous strain, and budgets, both national and those of families, are in need of assistance. Dr. Dzulkefly’s first day at work is going to be a tough one.”
“We would like to call on Dr. Dzulkefly to support the following three points:
- Firstly, commit to introducing much needed critical reforms, including healthcare financing which will help sustain universal health coverage and ensure that our health infrastructure is up to responding to the challenges faced by Malaysians in the 21st century. What is needed is not just incremental measures or pilot projects, but structural reforms.
- Secondly, introduce bottom-up consultation and progressive measures to help retain, motivate and attract more healthcare professionals to join the public health sector. We cannot take our doctors, nurses, hospital assistants and hospital administrators for granted.
- And thirdly, ensure that a deliberate consultative and inclusive approach is adopted and taken in dealing with health problems which place people and patients at the centre and beneficiaries of policies, as opposed to just being the target of them. The Ministry of Health needs to work in collaboration and consultation with patient groups, affected communities, the private sector, and civil society organisations.
“The current healthcare system needs urgent attention to improve existing infrastructure and manpower,and to increase coverage and quality of service delivery. Investments in medical innovations, digital health, in infectious disease prevention and control expertise, and in rural health services, must be continued and maintained,” emphasised Azrul.
“With the mandate provided by the Malaysian people, the Government has an opportunity to implement major reforms and introduce significant changes to our healthcare system which would have been difficult to undertake previously. It is not enough to realise the promises contained within the Pakatan Harapan manifesto, tough decisions will need to be made to ensure that the quality and coverage of healthcare accessible to Malaysians are befitting a upper middle income country. No one should be left behind.”
“We wish Dr. Dzul the best of luck in his new job!”
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