Khairy vows to make Sabah, Sarawak centrepiece of Health White Paper

Khairy vows to make Sabah, Sarawak centrepiece of Health White Paper

Khairy (left) is pictured with Deputy Premier Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian during the Health White Paper Development town hall session at the Sarawak General Hospital September 5, 2022. — Borneo Post pic

Tuesday, 06 Sep 2022 11:08 AM MYT

KUCHING, Sept 6 — Sarawak needs to be the centrepiece of the Health White Paper (HWP) in ensuring that accessibility is increased, said Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.

He said this is why he chose Sarawak as the first state to visit for a townhall session to get views from those involved in healthcare.

“So it is not just Sarawak, it is Sabah, it is all your rural interior areas and that is the challenge. If we can get it right for the rural interior areas, then this White Paper has succeeded in ensuring that accessibility and equity are something that we have taken care of.

“I give you the assurance this is not a PR session. This is a session for us to shape the direction of the White Paper in the right direction and in the right way to resonate with what is being raised on the ground,” he said in his conclusion of the HWP Development town hall session at the Sarawak General Hospital (SGH) auditorium last night.

Khairy also noted that connectivity is the backbone of the HWP.

“It is not just digital connectivity, but it is also about data. I’m big on data transparency. I strongly believe in data driven resource allocation as well. We have to be very solid on data so that we can match demand with resource allocation and really broadly put the resources to where it is urgently needed.

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“This will also help us to level up the states, which have been left behind. I do agree that we should make sure that everyone catches up first and then the next stage is levelling everyone up. And that’s a big agenda for the White Paper,” he said.

Noting the various discussions on specific diseases that were brought up during the town hall session, Khairy said the White Paper is not going to discuss disease per se.

He explained that it instead will be a system response to ensure the country is able to eliminate certain diseases that can be eliminated.

“Why is the system today not structured so that we can eliminate or bring down to less than prevalence of 5 per cent all these diseases? And how do we create a system, through the White Paper, that not only can eliminate these diseases, but make sure that they are eliminated as quickly as possible, especially in the marginalised community in which its prevalence is the highest? “So the White Paper is not going to look at disease per se, but rather a system response to making sure that these diseases, these conditions, or predicament can be addressed in an effective and timely manner,” he said.

Khairy also stressed that the HWP must take into account the spectrum of healthcare from preventive, promotive, curative, and rehabilitative, to palliative care.

“If somebody wants a dignified end of life, in the community, back at home, we must be able to support that. We must be able to give them that dignified and well supported end of life and the community where they choose to be spending the rest of their days,” he said.

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He added that there will also be engagement sessions to see how traditional Chinese medicine could be part of the HWP.

Khairy said the measure of the White Paper will be how it takes care of those who are at the margins of society.

“If those at the margins of society can enjoy universal health coverage and world class public healthcare, then this White Paper would have succeeded in creating a system that we can be proud of. That includes everybody who lives in Malaysia,” he said.

He added the HWP aims to future-proof the healthcare system by focusing on several key areas.

Khairy aims to table the HWP during the next Parliamentary sitting in November. — Borneo Post