Saturday, June 22, 2013

Malaysia has advanced healthcare system

 BorneoPost Online 
OPENING CEREMONY: Dr Chin hitting the drum to mark the opening of the ‘12th Aosra-PM Congress’. Also seen are (from left) president of Malaysian Society of Anaesthesiologists Dr Sushila Sivasubramaniam and organising chairperson Datin Dr V Sivasakthi.
KUCHING: Malaysia has achieved an advanced healthcare system with universal standard with accessible network of affordable primary care services.
Director-general of Health Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said this is in line with the fourth thrust of 10th Malaysia Plan which began in 2011 to improve the standard and sustainability of quality of life of the rakyat by transforming healthcare to universal standards.
“As of Dec 31 2011, the Ministry of Health provides healthcare services through 138 hospitals with 38,394 official beds, and more than 2,880 health clinics and 184 mobile health clinic teams and five flying doctor service teams.
“As of July 2012, there are 109 1Malaysia Health Clinics throughout the country. There are also private healthcare facilities in the country that complement the public healthcare delivery system – with 220 private hospitals, 39 maternity and nursing homes, 46 ambulatory care centres and 6,589 medical clinics,” he said.
His speech was read out by his deputy Dr Chin Zin Hing who represented him at the opening of the ‘12th Asian and Oceanic Society of Regional Anaesthesia (Aosra) and Pain Medicine Congress’ yesterday.
Dr Noor Hisham added since independence, Malaysia has achieved higher living and economic standard for the people, greater personal wealth and most significantly, higher standards and requirements for medical and health care.
He said in recent decades, there have been major improvements in the health status of the population, with steadily rising life expectancies and declining mortality rates.
“Life expectancy at birth for both males and females improved from 55 and 58 years respectively in 1957 to 72 and 77 years presently.
“The maternal mortality rate has dropped from 3.2 per 1,000 live births in 1957 to 0.3 today. Likewise, the infant mortality rate came down from 75.5 per 1,000 live births in 1957 to 6.8 at present,” he pointed out.
On the providers’ perspective, he said our doctor to population ratio of 1:791 as of Dec 31 2012 is set to improve to 1:600 by 2015 and 1:400 by 2020.
Overall, he estimated the value of Malaysia’s healthcare industry at around USD8.4 billion, saying total expenditure on healthcare in 2009 was 9.96 per cent of GDP.
In their estimation, he said spending on both public and private healthcare would rise to around seven per cent of GDP by 2020 if Malaysia is to match developed-country standards.
He also pointed out that they had a rotation system in place as well as a scaled incentive scheme for public servants in rural and remote areas to encourage more medical professionals to serve in rural areas.

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