KUALA LUMPUR, November 26 – The Galen Center for Health and Social Policy has proposed a minister to manage both the ministries of health and women’s, family and community development.
Galen Center chief executive Azrul Mohd Khalib pointed out that currently there is no ministry specifically in charge of elderly care, amid an elderly care crisis that Malaysia is ill-prepared for.
“Nobody wants to deal with the care of the elderly. Not sure who owns this problem – the Ministry of Health (MOH) refers it to the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development (KPWKM) and this Ministry refers it to the MOH.
“So you find neglect is symptomatic of that,” Azrul said. BFM presenter Tee Shiao Eek yesterday on the radio station’s Health & Living: Doctor in the House segment.
He said the MOH and KPWKM could keep the ministry names, but the new minister should be in charge of both portfolios.
“If you look at other countries, health is not only a ministry in itself, it also coexists with the other aspects. It goes back to the social determinants of health because the continuum of care includes the environment, not just the delivery of clinical services, the delivery of interventions, the cure of disease, etc. It is also about the environment.
“A good example of that is obviously diseases like dengue fever and sexually transmitted diseases, reproductive health, etc. Perhaps what could happen in this administration, given how the Prime Minister has promised to reduce the size of the Cabinet, there could be a minister responsible for two ministries – a minister responsible for both the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development.
“So when we look at care, it’s a continuum of care, not just one aspect, which is healthcare.”
Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim said at a press conference yesterday that discussions are underway between the components of the unity government led by Pakatan Harapan (PH) to reduce the size of the Cabinet.
Azrul pointed out that Malaysia is only eight years away from 2030, when it is expected that at least one in 10 Malays will be aged 66 and above, or around 15% of the total population.
“It has been stated that Malaysia is ill-prepared for this moment and ill-prepared to provide the type of care to a large group of elderly and needing advanced care.”
PH’s manifesto for the 15th general election touted the creation of a care economy to professionalize the care sector, with the planned tabling of a national care economy and aging community readiness plan ( SiagaJaga) in Parliament.
Newly elected Ipoh Timor MP Howard Lee Chuan How, who is also a member of the DAP’s central executive committee, previously said code blue in an interview that a proposed expenditure of RM10 billion for the three-year SiagaJaga plan would require inter-ministerial funding, including from the Ministry of Human Resources, Ministry of Health and KPWKM.
Consultant urologist Dr George Lee, who was also part of the BFM discussion titled ‘What do you want from the next health minister?’, suggested additional roles for the chief health officer instead to ensure continuity care beyond health care.
However, Azrul said the chief health officer is usually a trained health professional who may not understand the continuum of care beyond their specialty, adding that the powers of the chief executive should also be limited to avoid infringe on the jurisdiction of the Minister of Health.
“Today it is too easy to say the DG should do all of this, but in fact the responsibility is as an elected public official, belonging to the Minister of Health, to hold them accountable,” he said. -he declares.
“The CEO is a civil servant. There are going to be political questions that need to be answered and we cannot, realistically, to be fair, you cannot ask a civil servant to be responsible for them.
“These things include funding issues, as well as recommendations for possibly dramatic changes in policy. These must still belong to the Minister of Health, in particular the reforms.
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