We need local-level, granular data that is integrated with social and economic indicators.
The health component of the upcoming 12th Malaysia Plan must have a solid commitment towards ensuring that health initiatives which address the NCD crisis are grounded in reality and are fully funded.
With non-communicable diseases increasing significantly each year and cases of people with chronic kidney disease having more than one or more comorbidities such as diabetes, this is an ongoing funding problem that will not go away simply by excluding a group of people.
The Disease Control Division of the Ministry of Health and the Galen Centre for Health and Social Policy organised a closed-door roundtable discussion with multi-sectoral stakeholders on 16 December 2019 to discuss diabetes in Malaysia.
Fighting non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, cancer and obesity is a long game and requires vision, committed investments and political will to ensure that we are able to reap the results of a healthier people and nation.
There has been no move to earmark the revenue collected for the purpose of health, specifically and directly funding non-communicable disease (NCD) prevention, control and treatment.
We recommend, as a pilot programme, that the Government earmarks an initial 5 percent from the collected sin tax revenue to strengthen NCD health promotion and treatment, focusing initially on diabetes and cancer.
Earmarking this revenue would help address the shortfall in funding for prevention programmes.