Star: KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysians can now get medical advice with only a few clicks of a mouse or a handphone keypad, with the new MyHealth Internet portal.
The Health Ministry's newly launched health portal (www.myhealth.gov.my) offers a variety of services including forums, articles on health, an infectious diseases warning system, a Frequently-Asked Question section and more importantly, an “ask the experts” section.
Patients can now check with health experts on a variety of disciplines via the website or a handphone-based version of it, but since certain questions would need to be referred to specialists, the response time would vary from three days to two weeks.
The portal was launched yesterday at the official World Health Day celebration at the Putra World Trade Centre by Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, who said she hoped the celebration would help increase efforts to get people to lead healthier lifestyles.
Rosmah, the wife of Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, said the contributions of those in the health industry were appreciated but there were still challenges that needed to be overcome.
“The challenges include a shift towards a wellness paradigm where focus is given to preventive, curative and rehabilitative aspects,” she said.
Health Minister Datuk Dr Chua Soi Lek said, “The MyHealth portal is one of the components under the Telehealth project and it provides information to increase people's knowledge so they can take care of their own health.”
During the annual celebration, initiated worldwide by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 1950, Dr Chua said the ministry's new emphasis would be on human resources for health services.
“This year's theme is 'Working Together for Health', and it stresses the importance of producing a high-quality and sufficient workforce for the health sector,” he said.
The celebration also saw WHO's Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei representative Dr. Han Tieru presenting Dr Chua with the World Health Report 2006.
When commenting on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's open-policy statement on Sunday, Dr Chua said the ministry would continue to be open and transparent about disease outbreaks.
“Pak Lah has this open and transparent policy. Even Barisan MPs are more critical of the Government than the opposition, increasing the public's confidence in the Government,” he added.