Kuala Lumpur, 27 August 2021 — The Galen Centre for Health and Social Policy welcomes the appointment of YB Khairy Jamaluddin as Malaysia’s 23rd Minister of Health.
“YB Khairy Jamaluddin’s appointment and the return of Dato’ Dr Noor Azmi bin Ghazali & Datuk Aaron Ago Dagang as Deputy Health Ministers, comes at a particularly crucial time for Malaysia. This is a make or break moment,” said Chief Executive Azrul Mohd Khalib in commenting on the development.
“Due to the ongoing and increasing threat of the COVID-19 pandemic which has placed unprecedented strain, disruption and burden on our public healthcare system, it is going to take courage, firm and decisive leadership and sustained commitment to maintain existing efforts to deal with both COVID-19 and non-COVID issues affecting the health and wellbeing of Malaysians.”
“We look forward to YB Khairy to bring the same focus and determination to succeed that he brought to the COVID-19 vaccination effort, to address some of the complex and myriad issues which confront Malaysian healthcare.”
“For now, we would like to call on YB Khairy to support the following two points:
- Commit to strengthening COVID-19 public health measures into 2022 including surveillance and vaccination to minimize local transmission of cases, deaths due to the disease, providing the healthcare workforce with necessary support and funding, and ensuring that infectious disease prevention and control continues to be a priority for health security beyond this current pandemic.
- Immediately review and address concerns related to non-COVID-19 related diseases services such as cancer which have been severely disrupted during this public health emergency, causing missed opportunities to treat diseases earlier, the condition of patients to deteriorate, and the threat of premature death.
“The gaps in the health service delivery and infrastructure in East Malaysia have been starkly revealed during this past 18 months. *Sabah, in particular, needs urgent attention to its health needs, especially with the deteriorating COVID-19 situation.* That state is now at code blue, and needs the Minister’s immediate attention.” emphasized Azrul.
“With the support of our public and private healthcare professionals, we urge YB Khairy to consult widely with different government and non-government stakeholders, as he did in helming the vaccination effort. Many of the decisions that need to be made, especially those concerning health financing reforms and contract doctors, are not popular but they are long overdue.”
“Decisions and policies should be evidence-based but also guided by the ground realities, lived experiences, and the expertise of Malaysians who have worked in, accessed, been treated and cared for by the Malaysian healthcare system. There is a wealth of knowledge and experience that is available to YB Khairy should he wish to tap into and listen.”
“We hope the Minister and his colleagues will be steadfast in their resolve to protect the health of all who make up this big Malaysian family.”
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