Live – Forum on the future of heath care in Malaysia

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Live coverage of a major forum on the future of health care in Malaysia being held in Penang this afternoon. The forum begins at 2.00pm.

There will be a public Forum on “Reforming the Malaysian Health Care System: Is there a Need?” on Sunday, 27th.November, 2011 from 2.00pm to 6.00pm at YMCA Room A, 211, Jalan Macalister, Pulau Pinang.

Malaysian Healthcare at the Crossroads: Imminent changes expected in the Healthcare System

Background introduction to the Forum

Malaysia’s health care system has performed well in making healthcare available to the majority of its citizens. There is still good coverage of public health care services by the government both in rural and urban areas. This has mainly been financed by taxes and other public revenues. For the poor and rural residents the nominal fees charged by government hospitals and Klinik Desas have made health care services easily accessible. For others, government health services remain an affordable alternative when circumstances do not allow for a wider range of choice and conveniences.

However Malaysians have seen steady and increasing corporatization and privatization of the public sector. Most of the restructuring carried out in the past and financing scenarios recommended have never been made public, with huge amounts of public money spent for the commissioning of several consultant reports.

And now there is talk once again that the Ministry of Health is embarking on another restructuring exercise of the health care system in Malaysia. While talk has it that this plan is expected to be implemented soon, the length and breadth of the changes expected are not known. What is known is that most of the discussions with some stakeholders have been conducted very quietly with these stakeholders having to sign a statement of non-disclosure of all technical discussions.

Several expected outcomes of these changes are:

creation of a social health insurance scheme to which all Malaysians contribute
the setting up of a National Healthcare Financing Authority (NHFA), managed by the MOH to overlook financing of the healthcare delivery system
the setting up of local primary care trusts which will employ and pay physicians (GPs), who will play the role of gatekeepers of healthcare delivery.

Some of the concerns are:

the NHFA is not a gazetted body and therefore subject to forces of privatization
the local primary care trusts will have caps on payments to physicians, with the
patient ending up having to make high co-payments.
the risk that deserving patients may not be referred.

In view of all these uncertainties and secrecy, the public is anxious about the future affordability and accessibility of quality healthcare services and calls upon the government to be more transparent and to engage in a dialogue with the general public and civil society. We want assurance that any planned restructuring will not be at the expense of affordable, accessible, effective, equitable and sustainable healthcare.

This public forum, organized with the support of the Penang Medical Practitioners’ Society (PMPS), the People’s Health Forum Malaysia (PHF Malaysia), Health Action International Asia Pacific (HAIAP), Aliran and Persatuan Penasihat Kesihatan dan Keselamatan Pekerjaan Pulau Pinang (Occupational Health and Safety Advisory Association Penang) aims at highlighting the impending reforms in healthcare so that the views of important stakeholders -doctors and civil society representatives- can be shared and joint action taken.

Programme

1.00 – 2.00 pm Lunch and Registration

2.00 – 2.10 pm Welcome Remarks

Ms Shila Kaur

Coordinator, Health Action International Asia Pacific

and People’s Health Forum Malaysia

2.10 – 2.20 pm Opening Words

Dr Vejayan Rajoo

Penang Medical Practitioners Society (PMPS)

2.20 – 2.35 pm Presentation 1

YB Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa PAS

2.35 – 2.50 pm Strengthening the Malaysian Healthcare System

Dato Dr Abdul Hamid

Physicians for Social Responsibility Malaysia

2.50 – 3. 05 pm Malaysian Healthcare Reformation – the Doctor’s

Perspective

Dr Ng Swee Choon

Federation of Private Practitioners Society

3.05 – 3.20 pm Presentation 4

Dr Jayabalan

Consumers Association of Penang

3.20 – 3. 35 pm Public-Private Interactions in the Malaysian

Healthcare Sector

Prof Chan Chee-khoon, PHF Malaysia

3.35 – 3.50 pm Presentation 6

YB Dr Jeyakumar Devaraj PSM/GMPKK

3.50 – 5.00 pm Press Conference with Panel

Q & A from floor

Moderator: Dato’ Seri Dr T Devaraj

Launch of publication – Global Health Watch 3

Ms Shila Kaur, PHF Malaysia

5.00 pm Tea and Disperse

About the speakers:

Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa iss a Member of Parliament for Parit Buntar. He is a member of the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) and has a PhD in Political Science.

Dato Dr Abdul Hamid is currently the Vice-President of Physicians for Social Responsibility Malaysia. He was past President of the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA).

Dr Ng Swee Choon is a Committee member of Medical Affairs Department and Federation of Private Medical Practitioners Association of Malaysia. He is a Practicing Cardiologist, tasked with dealing with the Ministry of Health on Healthcare issues.

Dr T Jayabalan is a medical practitioner, specializing in Occupational Safety and Environmental Health. He is an Honorary Consultant with the National Poison Centre, USM and Honorary lecturer with the Discipline of Social and Administrative Pharmacy, School of Pharmacy, USM. He is a member of the Academy of Occupational and Environmental Science, Malaysia and Consultant with the Consumers Association of Penang and the Malaysian Trade Union Congress. He campaigns actively against environmental pollution due to low level ionising radiation and asbestos

Prof Chan Chee Khoon iss a health policy analyst at the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya . His current research interests include emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases, policy issues in biomedical science and technology, environment and development, and health systems in transition

Dr Jeyakumar Devaraj is a founder member of the Coalition Against Privatisation of Health Care, and has been monitoring Health Care Reform for the past 15 years. He is currently the PSM Member of Parliament for Sg Siput.

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mmc

gerakan,

oh my oh my, your Najib eh? lu tolong gua gua tolong lu. you should look up to him more.

kapum, immigration records gone. what else with this lu tolong gua gua tolong lu PM? Sibu (threw him out) despite the “tolong” offer.

tunglang

Any ‘profitable’ kang tau is ripe for the excuses, making and taking in Boleh Land! Even the public health care is not spared. My instinct tells me in the not too far future, ‘public’ funeral services will be the next target of piratisation of human affairs. And bones will be maximized for the dogs to eat as designer pet food! We are ‘vulturized’ as if brain dead from economic commonsense from time to time. I have been to GH to experience and heard of comments from locals of improvement in health care services and infrastructure in Penang sans comparison with… Read more »

johanssmKhunPana

The 1malaysia clinic is just a dispensary . It is only good to dispense common medicines and not more than that. It is misleading to name it as a clinic . If Pakatan Rakyat wins the next election , do ensure that all such clinics are properly manned by doctors and are open 24 hours (if possible). If the purpose of setting up those clinics are to serve Malaysians then there are no reasons why it cannot be done. Lastly, it is sad to see that there are a lot of mental cases people on the streets especially in major… Read more »

roy

Unfortunately not many people can see the BS behind the 1Malaysia brand name that is deceiving to win votes.

Gerakan K

What is BS ??? I guess it is Bachelor of Science ??? Yes, my 1Malaysia PM Najib is SMART and using BS to win votes.

Andrew I

B.S. stands for back slide.

mmc

looks like another gravy train on the way.

people like us will have to pay more taxes to line up the pockets of BN and company. Liow must be salivating. No wonder he pretends there were no canisters in the hospital compound.

People, one more reason to kick out BN before it sucks more dollars from your paycheck.

kittykat46

As usual in Malaysia, the healthcare issue is mixed up between valid economic and social issues, and the filthy hand of crony-capitalism. The Gov’t health system is being burdened by large numbers of foreign workers who pay zero taxes, and whose employers are making a profit from their operations. It grossly distorts the number of “low-income” patients the system has to handle. In addition there are many working Malaysians earning a reasonable level of income, who arguably should be paying full costs by contributing to some form of Healthcare insurance. The “privatisation” which the Government is thinking about is a… Read more »

hasbula

Poor rakyat give their votes to BN just because of klinik 1malaysia?
I rest my case.

Gerakan K

Anil: Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa iss a Member of Parliament for Parit Buntar. He is a member of the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) and has a PhD in Political Science. Dr Jeyakumar Devaraj is a founder member of the Coalition Against Privatisation of Health Care, and has been monitoring Health Care Reform for the past 15 years. He is currently the PSM Member of Parliament for Sg Siput. ***************************************** Gerakan K: This is another political talk organized by PR that disguised as forum. To put it bluntly, this is BN bashing party. Machai-machai from pakatan should come with full force.… Read more »

Andrew I

Sounds like you’re suffering from schizophrenia, judging by your last few posts, Gherkin. Everything is PR in disguise. Why not pay a visit to the 1Malaysia clinic? Maybe you can jump the queue since you are a no.1 fan?

tunglang

CPR for Gelak-Gelakan, you meant? Too late!
Obituary will be voluntarily prepared in advance comes GE13!
BTW, it will not be publish in The Star for wider readership and awareness.
Post CPR is not a matter for doctors to analyse, much less for the already half dead, politically speaking.

najib manaukau

Anil, What do you think of a botanist treating a cancer with chemotherapy ? Do you think this is the kind of health care available in a more developed state like Penang ? What else will be taking place in other parts of Malaysia ? just a couple of years ago your minister of health publicly announced that Malaysia needs at least 450 Oncologists but has only 48 to look after a population of 28 million people. Any wonder why so many of your very rich are having their spouses and dear ones suffering from cancer getting their treatment in… Read more »