Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said Sarawak must be the centrepiece of the Health White Paper (HWP) to ensure that accessibility is improved.
He said this was the reason he decided to have a town hall meeting in Sarawak as his first stop to hear from people working in the healthcare industry.
“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 assure you this is not a public relations session. This is a session for us to shape the direction of the White Paper correctly 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 on
Sept 5, 2022.
Khairy also noted that connectivity was 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 must be solid on data to match demand with resource allocation and broadly put the resources where they are urgently needed.”
Khairy stated that the White Paper would not tackle disease in general, despite the numerous debates on particular diseases that were brought up during the town hall event. He clarified that the government would instead be able to eradicate some diseases that can be eradicated through a systemic reaction.
“Why is the system today not structured so that we can eliminate or bring down to less than the prevalence of five per cent of all these diseases? And how do we create a system, through the White Paper, that cannot only eliminate these diseases, but make sure that they are eliminated as quickly as possible, especially in the marginalised community where 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 effectively and timely,” he said.