LAHAD DATU, Feb 6 — The Ministry of Health (MOH) is in the final phase of preparing a Health White Paper that involves new basic policies for the national health services sector, said Deputy Health Minister Lukanisman Awang Sauni.

He said this would also involve health services in Sabah which need federal government attention.

Lukanisman, who is on his first working visit to Sabah, also said that after COVID-19, the country is facing a crisis in health service and that it was crucial to look into the matter.

“We must review the health requirements, especially neglected clinic services, including schemes that require additional manpower. Of course, the information and input I get from every working visit will be brought to the attention of the highest working positions of the ministry, including the minister.

“We are also aware of the involvement of the state government through the cooperation of the MA63 Special Committee, which we will discuss tomorrow with the Sabah Health Department,” he told reporters after launching the 2023 Grand Smile Operation Initiative (GSOI) programme at the Lahad Datu Hospital, here, today.

On Jan 10, Health Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa was reported to have said the MOH aimed to table the Health White Paper in Parliament in the middle of this year.

Meanwhile, Lukanisman said that through the GSOI, a total of 58 cleft patients here will undergo surgery from today until Feb 11, with the involvement of 11 oral surgeons, three anaesthetists and four paediatricians.

“The main objective of the GSOI is to overcome the increase in existing cases and provide exposure and awareness to the community about cleft lip and the treatment that can be done. A cleft occurs when there is a gap or split in the upper lip and/or roof of the mouth (palate). This also happens one in 941 births,” he said.

He hoped that companies or non-governmental organisations with financial means would contribute and provide the necessary assets to the hospital to continue the GSOI programme.


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