Health White Paper advisory council welcome, say private hospitals


PETALING JAYA: The setting up of a 13-member Advisory Council on the Health White Paper is welcome, says the Association of Private Hospitals Malaysia (APHM).

In a statement on Wednesday (Aug 31), its president Datuk Dr Kuljit Singh (pic) said that the Association will assist in stakeholder engagement with the Council to contribute.

The APHM statement in full below is as follows;

The Association of Private Hospitals Malaysia welcomes the announcement of the 13 member Advisory Council of the Health White Paper by Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.

Private hospitals will assist in the stakeholder engagement with the Advisory Council and provide knowledge and suggestions on the collaboration that the private healthcare sector can contribute to the nation. Private hospitals have close to 50 years of experience in this country. Even though private hospitals representatives are not within the advisory council, our support to the ministry and the advisory council will be promised to be very beneficial.

Private healthcare have about 43 percent total expenditure on health as reported in the Malaysia National Health Accounts Health Expenditure Report 1997-2019 [published by Malaysia National Health Accounts Section, Planning Division of Ministry of Health Malaysia Malaysia] with 35% private household out of pocket and 8% private insurance [which is a combination of private hospitals and private clinics]. This has significantly reduced the government expenditure particularly for those who can afford private healthcare.

The involvement of former health minister Tan Sri Dr S. Subramaniam and Axiata Group chairman, Tan Sri Shahril Ridza Ridzuan will be a great asset to the white paper as it will strengthen the salient features of the objective of the paper. The Council should have economists and healthcare financial experts instead of exclusively medical doctors in order to have the desired outcomes.

The main thrust of the White Paper should focus on the restructuring of public health care in order to provide easy and seamless healthcare to all citizens with smart partnership with private healthcare without any change in the existing business structure of the private healthcare which includes any sort of regulatory efforts in cost.

Currently private healthcare cost in Malaysia is the lowest in the region despite the increasing cost of imported healthcare devices and products. The contribution of 220 plus private hospitals in urbans and sub-urbans parts of the country have increased the accessibility to healthcare to many citizens and non-citizens including from local corporate entities and foreign business investment companies. Medical tourism is an additional source of income for the country that the white paper should consider to strengthen it further.

DATUK DR KULJIT SINGH

President

Association of Private Hospitals Malaysia

31 Aug 2022

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