Q . Many experts agree that public-private partnerships ( PPP ) are essential to achieve further improvements in the healthcare system in Malaysia . Private hospitals , for instance , could help reduce the heavy caseload of public hospitals , thus improving wait times for patients treated in public hospitals while giving private facilities with excess capacity financial benefits . In your opinion , what are the PPPs that could improve Malaysia ’ s healthcare the most ? Bryan Lin : We have been a part of the PPP , both during the pandemic and post-pandemic , and are supportive of this initiative . The benefits of the PPP are reducing waiting times , sharing of expertise , medical resources , and infrastructure , and being in partnership to share the burden of the national healthcare agenda .
I believe that one area for improvement would be greater collaboration in training and sharing of skills and competencies in new medical advances and techniques . For example , the private and public sectors could share certain resources to train future doctors in the latest surgery techniques . Public patients could be brought into the private setting for a new surgical technique such as robotic surgery . The patient might recover faster due to the medical advancement , while the doctors could be exposed and trained in the latest equipment .
Q . Several healthcare professionals are calling for the new government to improve the healthcare system with better infrastructure and facilities , fair and equal opportunities for junior doctors , resources for mental health services and aged care , and the liberalisation of the healthcare labour market to hire foreign professionals . In your opinion , what are the top priorities in order to significantly improve the healthcare system in Malaysia and why ? Bryan Lin : We need to address the critical issue of nursing shortages in the industry . This includes better wages , liberalisation of the number of countries for recruitment , reviews of the prerequisites for foreign nurses , increasing the intake to train post-basic nurses in government hospitals , allowing more private hospitals to train post-basic nurses , and having an agency to attract Malaysian nurses to return home ( like TalentCorp ).
The other area that needs review is the telemedicine laws . The current provision of the law only allows follow-up consultations . This is one of the reasons that consultants are reluctant to use telemedicine as the current laws do not protect them if there is a medical dispute .
Beyond just telemedicine , overall our laws and regulations in healthcare should be revisited to be friendlier and supportive of technology-enabled health services and promotional or marketing activities . n
GlobalHealthAsiaPacific . com ISSUE 6 | 2022