1 Care: No point road show if you can't answer the basics, Azizah tells Liow
Written by Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail
We note the answer from Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai that the blueprint for the controversial 1Care health system will only be done in two years.
The Minister has also promised to launch a road show to explain and engage the public regarding the 1Care health system.
As mentioned in our earlier statement, we question the commitment of the Minister’s assurances with regards to his records vis-à-vis the Lynas controversy.
It is also surprising that the Minister is only talking about explaining and engaging with the public now, after 1Care has attracted a lot of opposition from the rakyat. Like other BN pronouncements such as the SBPA, it seems consultation is only an after-thought.
We have received complaints from doctors involved in previous consultations on 1Care that there was no true engagement and dialogue involved. The government is set to continue with 1Care.
Wasted on inefficiencies
We also hope the Minister will end his silence with regards to our suggestion for immediate measures to improve the country’s healthcare system. As mentioned in my earlier statement, our government expenditure at 2.2 percent for health as a percentage to GDP in Malaysia in 2008 is still lower than the WHO recommendation of 5 to 6 percent. WHO has also estimated that 20 to 40 percent of government expenditure in health is wasted on inefficiencies including corruption.
Thus introducing 1Care without overcoming the existing inefficiencies will increase the opportunity for corruption which would be truly tragic for the country’s health care system. This is similar to the privatisation of various sectors of the country’s healthcare system over the past two decades which were supposed to increase efficiency yet only resulted in more leakages.
This includes the privatisation of the Government Medical Store, University Hospitals, the Cardiology Department of the Kuala Lumpur Hospital and the Hospital Support Services which has substantially increased healthcare costs in the country without improving efficiency.
DR WAN AZIZAH WAN ISMAIL IS THE PRESIDENT OF PARTI KEADILAN RAKYAT