Sarawak wants autonomy aspirations to be included in Khairy’s healthcare reform white paper

Dr Sim (centre) arriving at the venue of MPHLG Innovative and Creative Circle (ICC) Convention closing ceremony today (Aug 10, 2022).

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By Ling Hui

KUCHING, Aug 10: Sarawak is now putting its aspirations for health autonomy in words, of which may be included in Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin’s white paper on healthcare reform that will be tabled in the October-November Parliament sitting.

Deputy Premier Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian said a task force has been set up to come up with a detailed report which will be Premier-approved before it is presented to Khairy for review.

“We will come together and produce a detailed report, then share with our YAB Premier.

“And I will present it to YB KJ (Khairy) because we want whatever we have written to be part of the white paper that he is going to table in Parliament in either October or November,” he said.

Dr Sim, who is also Minister of Public Health, Housing and Local Government (MPHLG), said among the aspects considered were the percentage of local health workers in Sarawak.

“Because we cannot just say that we want autonomy. Do we have 90 per cent Sarawakians (working in our health facilities)?

“For example, we need to find out whether we have more than 90 per cent Sarawakians among the nurses, doctors, medical assistants, and pharmacists (in Sarawak).

“We need to work out all these details, and also details on how many hospitals need to be upgraded and so on,” he told reporters after officiating the MPHLG Innovative and Creative Circle (ICC) Convention closing ceremony at a local hotel here today.

“A total of 38 delegates from 14 Sarawak State and federal agencies have gathered through a two-day workshop to brainstorm ideas for the ‘White Paper on Healthcare Enhancement in Sarawak’.

Dr Sim, State Legal Counsel Dato Sri JC Fong, Prof Datu Dr Andrew Kiyu Dawie Usop and Prof Dato Dr Jamilah Hashim from Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) were among those leading the workshop. — DayakDaily