26 September 2023

MALAYSIA: Public-private plan for health services

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Malaysia’s Public Service Department (PSD) is considering whether there can be increased collaboration between the public and private sectors on certain health services.

Director-General of the PSD, Mohd Shafiq Abdullah said the Government had taken note of the major contribution by private medical practitioners in meeting the needs of healthcare services, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, while private hospitals had also helped manage cases.

“Such public-private partnerships have shown an improvement and maximised the reach of healthcare service delivery to the population,” Datuk Seri Shafiq said.

“As a former Secretary-General at the Health Ministry who has experience with various issues and challenges in our health system, I believe the public-private approach needs to be explored further.”

He said that at present, there were 8,350 private clinics, more than 10,000 trained medical officers and more than 220 private hospitals capable of complementing healthcare services at public health centres.

“Collaboration would be able to ease the burden borne by the public healthcare system in addition to reducing Government expenditure,” Datuk Seri Shafiq said.

Meanwhile, the new President of the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) R. Muruga Raj said his focus would be on the issue of bullying among healthcare workers in the public system.

“It is disturbing to hear,” Dr Raj (pictured) said.

“So let me just say that bullying will not be tolerated any longer as I will work together with the Health Ministry and colleagues to ensure that this cancerous behaviour that has crept into the system is dealt with,” he said.

“With the tabling of Budget 2023 coming up in October, the MMA is hopeful of seeing a Budget for healthcare truly reflecting the Government’s commitment towards reforms.”

Kuala Lumpur, 14 September 2022

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