From the Star,
PM: Go for quality healthcare
By MAZWIN NIK ANIS
PUTRAJAYA: Nations must tackle the challenges posed by non-communicable diseases (NCD) by providing quality care that is co-ordinated and cost effective, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said.
The Prime Minister said cardiovascular and chronic respiratory diseases as well as cancer and diabetes caused an estimated 35 million deaths each year or 60% of all deaths globally, with 80% occuring in low and middle-income countries.
He said it was necessary to “re-engineer” the healthcare delivery system to provide quality care.
Healthcare in Malaysia is bleeding from the exodus of talented individuals to other countries and the private sector. On paper, we have enough doctors but the distribution of the doctors is in question. With quite a substantial majority of specialists being in private practice, the public sector are left with junior specialists and new graduates.
Our failure to attract talents to our shores is evident when our system is plaqued by bureaucracy and non-transparent procedures. Our lackadaisical attitude towards keeping talented individuals within our shores is resulting in many opting to leave the medical service in Malaysia.
In response, Malaysia is setting up medical schools as if they were teh tarik stalls. Some of these schools have started with poorly staffed academic teams. Some have to resort to using smaller hospitals, many of which are ill-equipped at handling medical students.
For academicians, rigid rulings bound by a narrow perception of success by the top university academicians have stunted the attractiveness of academic life. Failure to recognise other measures of success has resulted in disillusionment among academicians. Although the arbitrary university rankings has much to do with fixation on ISI-cited publications, the so called intellectuals should have known better than be bound by such a warped perception of an organisation, desperate to remain relevant.
Sure we need to re-engineer our healthcare system but first it is paramount to recognise the flaws in the current system. Otherwise creating 1Care or whatever you wish to call it, will be an exercise in futility.