Royal Commission on Malaysian Health System
DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw proposes that the Malaysian Government sets up a Royal Commission of Enquiry to enquire into the health system and to give recommendations for its total restructuring, consistent with the modern world.
Dr Tan put forward the proposal during the debate on the allocation of RM8.7 billion for the Health Ministry in the Supply Bill, 2006, on 29 November, 2005.
Today, the Ministry of Health is facing huge challenges. The demand of the increasingly more enlightened public is difficult to meet. The ministry's organization is unwieldy: it has about 160,000 personnel with '13,000' doctors and '30,000' nurses, increasing by about 5,000 annually. It cannot go on using the old system.
There are many weaknesses such as the shortage of doctors and nurses, the long waiting lists and the unsatisfactory treatment of patients. Health is a bottomless pit.
The Minister Datuk Chua Soi Lek understands the health system. He has tried to improve certain aspects. But, there are about 280,000 outpatients and 27,000 inpatients a year. Heart outpatients and inpatients are 27,000 and 1,000 per year. Kuching General Hospital is the only hospital in the country having CT angiogram through private contributions; each machine costs RM5 million. General hospitals in the whole Peninsula has no such machine to scan the hearts of patients.
The Ministry should improve its coordination with Immigration Department and Venerinary Department to control infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, leprosy and bird influenza. The screening of immigrant workers must be more effective. As our neighbours such as Thailand and Indonesia have bird flu infection, Malaysia should enhance its preventive measures.
We urge the Health Minister to consider seriously the setting up of Royal Commission of Enquiry on all aspects of healthcare in Malaysia to meet the needs of the nation.