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KUCHING, Aug 28: New Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin should consider forming a ‘Health Reform Commission’ as the foundation to a mid and long-term reform of Malaysia’s healthcare system.
This is the view of Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii, who added that such a commission can act as a vehicle to frame a reformation in essential healthcare areas including financing system, manpower resources, healthcare infrastructure, data collection and analysis, amongst others.
“One of the first role this committee can play is a comprehensive review of our country’s Covid-19 approach to learn from mistakes and repeat best practices to prevent and manage future pandemics,” he said.
On combatting Covid-19, he also suggested a new approach that is evident-based which focuses on fundamentals of infectious disease control guided by ground realities, live experiences, and Malaysia’s expertise.
Other than implementing the Find-Test-Trace-Isolate-Support (FTTIS) strategy alongside vaccination (V) while increasing Covid-19 testing, he viewed the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (Pick) should be helmed by the Ministry of Health for better implementation and streamlining of bureaucracy.
Dr Yii, who is also Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) on Health, Science and Innovation chairman, said the health system should be better integrated with science and technology including proper, transparent use of data in Covid-19 detection systems.
“On top of better transparency and better open-sourcing for Covid-19 data via GitHub, it is also important to improve the effectiveness of detection systems such as the current HIDE (Hotspots Identification for Dynamic Engagement) system.
“There must be better integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) into health itself including to improve public health measures such as contact tracing and surveillance,” he said in a statement today.
Other initiatives that he put up to Khairy and his ministry included the expansion of public health service capacity into rural areas with collaboration from private players, and an immediate review to address the worsening prognosis where non-Covid-19 cases are neglected during this pandemic.
“With these initial fundamentals, I do hope the Minister and his team will be able to set forth a solid foundation for a better health system for our country.
“All these can be achieved through better and open engagements with all stakeholders including experts from the private sector, academia, NGOs (non-governmental organisations) and even the opposition,” he added. — DayakDaily