KOTA KINABALU, Sept 9 — The Ministry of Health is transforming the national health system from sick care to health care, said its Minister, Khairy Jamaluddin.

Like the saying “prevention is better than cure”, he said this transformation was important to empower disease-prevention activities, encourage healthy lifestyles, improve health screenings and primary health services in the community.

He said the transformation would also encourage the expansion of digital health records among communities and the use of the latest technology in the health sector.

“(This transformation) means we want to keep Malaysians healthy always. Every year, nearly one million Malaysians fall sick, either with diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol or various other diseases.

“As such, the Health White Paper (HWP) becomes an important government policy document that will recommend reforms of the national healthcare system in phases for the next 15 years,” he said when speaking at the Public Dialogue on HWP Development at the Kota Kinabalu International Convention Centre here today. 

Also present were state Community Development and People’s Wellbeing Minister Datuk Shahelmey Yahya and Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

Khairy said the Healthcare Reform Commission would be established to monitor the implementation of the HWP and, through the HWP, the functions under the ministry would become more efficient and effective including the improvement of human resource planning.

On the healthcare system plans in Sabah and Sarawak, he said 30 health clinics with an estimated expenditure of RM1.5 billion would be built in both states, namely 14 in Sabah and 16 in Sarawak.

“The ministry also aims to upgrade six non-specialist hospitals – three each in Sabah and Sarawak – into minor specialist hospitals,” he said.

Meanwhile, Dr Noor Hisham said the public dialogue session on the HWP allowed various issues and ideas to be voiced from various levels of the health sector so that the healthcare system could be improved.

He said the healthcare system in Sabah and Sarawak really needed more attention from various aspects to be improved to enable the health white paper to be tabled in Parliament.

“It was a good session, we could talk from top to bottom to get a solid paper (HWP) and the best way to build the best healthcare system so that, if faced with a pandemic or disaster, we can manage it well,” he said.


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