Neonatal Registry

In The Star today,


Neonatal Registry to be set up soon

By SUSAN TAM

PETALING JAYA: A National Neonatal Registry will be set up to compile information in a move to improve neonatal care and bring down the death rate among newborns.

Health Minister Datuk Dr Chua Soi Lek said the registry, scheduled to be ready by the end of the year, would allow health authorities to assess the state of neonatal care in the country.

“This reporting system is not compulsory for healthcare facilities in the private and public sector, but it will help the ministry obtain a clearer picture of the causes of neonatal deaths and the risks involved,” he said.

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Neonatal death rates have been relatively stagnant in Malaysia over this past decade. This despite a good infrastructure of healthcare. Causes for this stagnation is uncertain.

For one, not all hospitals are equipped to handle neonatal cases, especially those requiring intensive care. Ventilators are in short supply. Expert staff is lacking.

Neonatal survival is one important indicator of a good and well developed healthcare system. Therefore the setting up of this registry may be timely in pinpointing the causes of neonatal mortality and thus tackling it accordingly. However, there is already a system in place where the data can be obtained. Thus the setting up of this registry could be redundant and unnecessary.

It is hoped that the Health Minister will look seriously at improving exisitng infrastucture and not introducing unnecessary paperwork that seems to be the order of the day at the moment!

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