Cabinet paper on health advisory council will be tabled next week: Dzulkefly

PUTRAJAYA: A Cabinet paper on the proposed establishment of the Health Advisory Council will be tabled next week said Health Minister Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad.

He said the council, which would comprise five to seven experts in various fields, would serve as an advisory body, problem solver and think tank in boosting the healthcare sector delivery.

"Members of the council are not necessarily (members) of the medical (field)m there is also an economist. We will choose the best among the best to empower the Ministry of Health and make it world-class," he told a press conference after the ministry's monthly gathering here today.

According to him, the long waiting period to meet the doctors, especially specialists, the disruption in the supply of medicines and congestion at health facilities were the main focus to be addressed in healthcare operations

In addition, he said the long diagnostic waiting period and the rising cost of healthcare, especially in the private sector, would also be given attention.

Dzulkefly said the 1Malaysia Clinic nationwide would be rebranded as the People's Clinic and it would house more doctors to increase its operational capacity.

"The placement of more doctors is not a problem because we produce about 5,000 doctors each year, only the facility to house them is inadequate," he said.

Regarding the government's allocation for health, Dzulkefly said the ministry needed a higher budget allocation to ensure the quality of delivery of health services to the people continued to be strengthened.

"In the next five years, it is hoped that the health sector will contribute at least six to seven percent to Gross Domestic Product," he said.

Dzukefly said that temporarily delayed "Peduli Sihat' health care scheme was expected to be included in the 2019 budget allocation.

The scheme involves proposed RM500 funding for basic treatment at registered private clinics for the lowest 40% income group (B40) and is among the 100-day promises of the new Pakatan Harapan government. — Bernama