Monday, November 28, 2011


I spend Sunday in Penang. I spoke at the Public forum on Healthcare, organised by the CAP, Private Medical Practitioners Society, Penang, Heath Action Initiative. I spoke on " Malaysia Healthcare Reforms, Is there a need? I tried to upload my slides, which had much statistics and data to this blog, without success ( do not know how to ).
Anyway, it was a very successful forum. The room was full, but then is was a small room ( room 1 of YMCA Penang ). I estimated about 70-80 in the room.
The organisers managed to get Dr Nordin of MOH to come and brief us on the planned Healthcare Reforms. The meeting was opened by the Deputy Chief Minister of Penang. Various people spoke, inlcuding a PAS politician ( forgot his name ), Dr Michael Jeyakumar ( PSM ), the CAP representative ( Dr Jayabalan ), Dr Abdul Hamid, and Prof Chan Chee Kong, and me.
After the various speeches, the forum was opened to questions and as expected, Dr Nordin ( MOH ) was bombarded with questions and comments ( some not so flattering ). Tan Sri Devaraj was the chairman for the discussion. Everything was civil. Nothing got out of hand.
The consensus seems to be that we do not reform, just improve the present system, correct her shortcomings with some injection of cash.
We all agreed that we basically have a good system ( no one disagreed ), with some shortcomings. Increasing the Malaysian Healthcare budget from the current ( 4.8% of GDP ), to the WHO recommended level of 8-9% of GDP, should solve most of out shortcomings.

This is my concluding slide

1.HC must be and can be improved. It is basically a good, proven system.
2.HC cost will rise, just as quality and quantity of life will rise, and population will rise.
3.We must use the HC dollar more efficiently. Cut out leakages. Efficiency measured by health outcomes, Not KRAs.
4.We, the FPMPAM believe that increasing the HC expenditure to the WHO recommended level ( THE 8-9% GDP ) is the way to go. Increasing taxes ( direct or indirect ), and parking RM 35B in a HC fund, is NOT the way to go.

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