Reforming the Malaysian Healthcare System Forum

Posted by M ws On Wednesday, November 23, 2011 0 comments
There will be a public Forum on “Reforming the Malaysian Health Care System: Is there a Need?” on Sunday, 27th.November, 2011 from 1.00pm to 6.00pm at YMCA Room A, 211, Jalan Macalister, Pulau Pinang.

Malaysian Healthcare at the Crossroads: Imminent changes expected in the Healthcare System 

Background introduction to the Forum

Malaysia’s health care system has performed well in making healthcare available to the majority of its citizens. There is still good coverage of public health care services by the government both in rural and urban areas. This has mainly been financed by taxes and other public revenues. For the poor and rural residents the nominal fees charged by government hospitals and Klinik Desas have made health care services easily accessible. For others, government health services remain an affordable alternative when circumstances do not allow for a wider range of choice and conveniences.

However Malaysians have seen steady and increasing corporatization and privatization of the public sector. Most of the restructuring carried out in the past and financing scenarios recommended have never been made public, with huge amounts of public money spent for the commissioning of several consultant reports.

And now there is talk once again that the Ministry of Health is embarking on another restructuring exercise of the health care system in Malaysia. While talk has it that this plan is expected to be implemented soon, the length and breadth of the changes expected are not known. What is known is that most of the discussions with some stakeholders have been conducted very quietly with these stakeholders having to sign a statement of non-disclosure of all technical discussions.

Several expected outcomes of these changes are:

creation of a social health insurance scheme to which all Malaysians contribute
the setting up of a National Healthcare Financing Authority (NHFA), managed by the MOH to overlook financing of the healthcare delivery system
the setting up of local primary care trusts which will employ and pay physicians (GPs), who will play the role of gatekeepers of healthcare delivery.

Some of the concerns are:

  • the NHFA is not a gazetted body and therefore subject to forces of privatization
  • the local primary care trusts will have caps on payments to physicians, with the
  • patient ending up having to make high co-payments.
  • the risk that deserving patients may not be referred.

In view of all these uncertainties and secrecy, the public is anxious about the future affordability and accessibility of quality healthcare services and calls upon the government to be more transparent and to engage in a dialogue with the general public and civil society. We want assurance that any planned restructuring will not be at the expense of affordable, accessible, effective, equitable and sustainable healthcare.

This public forum, organized with the support of the Penang Medical Practitioners’ Society (PMPS), the People’s Health Forum Malaysia (PHF Malaysia), Health Action International Asia Pacific (HAIAP), Aliran and Persatuan Penasihat Kesihatan dan Keselamatan Pekerjaan Pulau Pinang (Occupational Health and Safety Advisory Association Penang) aims at highlighting the impending reforms in healthcare so that the views of important stakeholders -doctors and civil society representatives- can be shared and joint action taken.


1.00 – 2.00 pm Lunch and Registration

2.00 – 2.10 pm Welcome Remarks

Ms Shila Kaur

Coordinator, Health Action International Asia Pacific

and People’s Health Forum Malaysia

2.10 – 2.20 pm Opening Words

Dr Vejayan Rajoo

Penang Medical Practitioners Society (PMPS)

2.20 – 2.35 pm Presentation 1

YB Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa PAS

2.35 – 2.50 pm Strengthening the Malaysian Healthcare System

Dato Dr Abdul Hamid

Physicians for Social Responsibility Malaysia

2.50 – 3. 05 pm Malaysian Healthcare Reformation – the Doctor’s


Dr Ng Swee Choon

Federation of Private Practitioners Society

3.05 – 3.20 pm Presentation 4

Dr Jayabalan

Consumers Association of Penang

3.20 – 3. 35 pm Public-Private Interactions in the Malaysian

Healthcare Sector

Prof Chan Chee-khoon, PHF Malaysia

3.35 – 3.50 pm Presentation 6

YB Dr Jeyakumar Devaraj PSM/GMPKK

3.50 – 5.00 pm Press Conference with Panel

Q & A from floor

Moderator: Dato’ Seri Dr T Devaraj

Launch of publication - Global Health Watch 3

Ms Shila Kaur, PHF Malaysia

5.00 pm Tea and Disperse

About the speakers: 

Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa iss a Member of Parliament for Parit Buntar. He is a member of the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) and has a PhD in Political Science.

Dato Dr Abdul Hamid is currently the Vice-President of Physicians for Social Responsibility Malaysia. He was past President of the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA).

Dr Ng Swee Choon is a Committee member of Medical Affairs Department and Federation of Private Medical Practitioners Association of Malaysia. He is a Practicing Cardiologist, tasked with dealing with the Ministry of Health on Healthcare issues.

Dr T Jayabalan is a medical practitioner, specializing in Occupational Safety and Environmental Health. He is an Honorary Consultant with the National Poison Centre, USM and Honorary lecturer with the Discipline of Social and Administrative Pharmacy, School of Pharmacy, USM. He is a member of the Academy of Occupational and Environmental Science, Malaysia and Consultant with the Consumers Association of Penang and the Malaysian Trade Union Congress. He campaigns actively against environmental pollution due to low level ionising radiation and asbestos

Prof Chan Chee Khoon iss a health policy analyst at the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya . His current research interests include emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases, policy issues in biomedical science and technology, environment and development, and health systems in transition

Dr Jeyakumar Devaraj is a founder member of the Coalition Against Privatisation of Health Care, and has been monitoring Health Care Reform for the past 15 years. He is currently the PSM Member of Parliament for Sg Siput.

Penang Medical Practitioners Society

Penang Medical Practitioners' Society is the oldest medical society in the country. Founded in 1932, it represents about 500 private medical practitioners in Penang.

The main aim of PMPS is to ensure quality medical care in the state of Penang by organizing forums, lectures and other meetings for Medical Practitioners and the public. PMPS is a member of Federation of Private Medical Practitioners' Association of Malaysia.

Contact person: Dr Vejayan Rajoo, Gleneagles Medical Centre, Penang


About People’s Health Forum Malaysia

The People’s Health Forum Malaysia is a loose coalition of civil society groups formed in 2010 aimed at addressing outstanding, current and emerging public health issues of concern to all Malaysians. PHF Malaysia is the Malaysian chapter of the global People’s Health Movement.

Coordinator: Ms Shila Kaur


Visit us on Facebook: People’s Health Forum Malaysia

About Health Action International Asia Pacific

Health Action International Asia Pacific (HAIAP), an independent, regional, informal and dynamic network of public interest and health advocates, consumer groups and individuals, was established in 1986 out of necessity to uphold health as a fundamental human right and aspire for a just and equitable society in which there will be regular access to essential medicines to all who need them

HAIAP works with governments, academic institutions and NGOs at community, national and regional levels on issues such as promoting equitable and affordable access to essential medicines, the essential drugs concept, rational use of medicines, traditional medicines, ethical drug promotion, fair drug prices, the impact of multilateral agreements particularly TRIPS and GATS on access to affordable healthcare and essential medicines, poverty eradication as well as other priority themes relevant to countries in the Asia Pacific region.
HAIAP spans across 18 countries in Asia and the Pacific and consists of approximately 60 individual and organizational members and associate members. These vary from powerful international/regional NGOs to grassroots level organizations and concerned individuals working the fields of medicine, pharmaceuticals, health, development and human rights.

Coordinator: Ms Shila Kaur


Visit us HERE.

Organised by:

Penang Medical Practitioners' Society (PMPS)
Health Action International Asia Pacific (HAIAP)
People's Health Forum Malaysia 
Occupational Health and Safety Advisory Association

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