The Health October 2021 | Page 3



Shop safely for contact lenses The Malaysian Optical Council cautions public against purchasing inferior contact lenses from unauthorised channels
Growth in sight The eyecare industry has been affected by the pandemic like most businesses but recovery seems imminent
Gutsy young lady Malaysian pro wrestler Nor Diana shares her training routine , diet and what motivates her
Boost vaccination rates in laggard states We need to ensure a high level of vaccination readiness
Doses of reality
The inequitable distribution of Covid-19 vaccines illustrates the limits of a system where power plays a part
Business unusual People are hoping the government will bring about changes in managing the Covid-19 situation amidst reopening of
Using dynamic applications Adapting to the digital era is no longer an option in a competitive market
Precision medicine and health It aids the doctor to seek a patients unique disease risks and treatments that will work
| The Health says ... |

What after the pandemic ?

IT CAME as no surprise that Khairy Jamaluddin was appointed the new Health Minister when the cabinet line-up was announced recently .

He had done a fairly good job as cochairman of the Special Vaccine Supply Access Guarantee Committee ( JKJAV ) in stepping up the Covid-19 vaccination drive in a matter of months to one of the highest vaccination rates in the world . He was Science , Technology and Innovation Minister at that time .
Today , more than 80 per cent of the adult population have received both doses of the vaccine and more than 90 per cent their first dose .
But the credit must also go to the Ministry of Health ( MoH ) staff led by its Director-General Tan Sri Noor Hisham Abdullah who have toiled in containing the pandemic since March 2020 .
But what after the pandemic ? What lessons have we learnt from this bitter episode ?
Will our healthcare resources be expanded to cope with another such pandemic ? Will we have more public hospitals , polyclinics , clinics , doctors , and nurses ? How will we address the glaring imbalance in health infrastructure between States ?
Will we also step-up investments in technology and telemedicine and introduce the long overdue national health insurance scheme ?
Now is a good time as any to start addressing these issues . For a start , Khairy must ensure Budget 2022 includes a higher allocation for healthcare .
He has said the country needed another 28,000 medical specialists by 2030 . But if we can ’ t even offer a few thousand contract doctors permanent positions now , how are we going to recruit that many specialists ?
The just tabled 12th Malaysia Plan ( 2021- 2025 ) talks about redesigning the country ’ s healthcare service to ensure efficient and affordable healthcare delivery to the people .
It mentions that a blueprint for Malaysia Healthcare System Reform will be introduced as a new way forward for national healthcare system transformation . This will include public healthcare sector transformation , private healthcare sector regulatory reform and sustainable health financing .
Sounds good and ambitious on paper . But let ’ s hope all this is not mere political rhetoric .
And who can blame Malaysians for being skeptical ? After 11 such Malaysia Plans since independence , we are still struggling to cope .