The Health September 2022 | Page 3



| The Health says ... |

Don ’ t ignore public feedback

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HEALTH Minister Khairy Jamaluddin has asked for support for the Health White Paper expected to be tabled in Parliament in November .

He said it was the country ’ s collective statement of intent on how it could make the health system more sustainable and resilient through a “ whole of government ” and “ whole of society ” mindset .
Covid-19 had brought into sharp focus the need for healthcare reforms , where never before had the interdependence of health , finance and the social fabric been so visible and the demand for healthcare reforms been more apparent for the wellbeing and social needs of the people , he said .
Malaysians , in general , will welcome any health reforms that are good for the country . After all , there is a dire need for reform in not only health but other areas such as education and local government .
We understand the Ministry of Health ( MoH ) is still in the process of getting feedback from stakeholders on the White Paper . This public engagement is commendable as White Papers are policy documents that set out proposals for future legislation .
It ’ s basic for ministers , politicians and government officials to get public feedback before deciding on important issues affecting the public and national interest . But to what extent will the public ’ s feedback or proposals by stakeholders be adopted ?
We have seen the Ministry of Finance holding dialogue sessions with the business community in the run up to the Budget . But were many of their proposals adopted ? Given the complaints from the business community post-Budget , it would seem many of their views were ignored .
The MoH ’ s move to get feedback for its White Paper should , therefore , not be a smokescreen . The key issues must be addressed .
They are focusing on preventive rather than curative healthcare , the brain drain , bullying of housemen , need for a national health financing scheme , shortage of healthcare facilities , lack of transparency in procurement and providing healthcare for marginalised communities , to name a few .
Khairy can be assured that his White Paper will receive support from lawmakers and the public if the proposals are fair to everyone . Malaysia badly needs healthcare reforms postpandemic , so let ’ s get it right this time .