The Public Services Department (JPA) is looking into establishing partnerships between the public and private sectors for specific health services.
Its Director-General Datuk Seri Mohd Shafiq Abdullah said the government recognised the significant contribution made by private healthcare providers in the nation in satisfying the need for healthcare services, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic. Private hospitals also assisted in the management of Covid-19 cases.
“Such public-private partnerships have shown improvement and maximised the reach of healthcare service delivery to the population.
“As a former Secretary-General of the Ministry of Health (MoH) who has experience with various issues and challenges in our health system, I believe that the public-private approach needs to be explored further,“ he said during the 62nd Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) dinner.
He said currently there were 8,350 private clinics, over 10,000 licenced physicians, and more than 220 private hospitals that could supplement the medical care provided at public health facilities.
In addition to lowering government spending, he continued, the alliance would be able to lessen the load on the public healthcare system.
He added the collaboration would be able to ease the burden borne by the public healthcare system in addition to reducing government expenditure.
Following the association’s 62nd Annual General Meeting, which was held in a hybrid format, Dr R. Muruga Raj took over as MMA president for 2022–2023, succeeding Dr Koh Kar Chai, who now serves as immediate past president.
Dr Muruga Raj said during his inaugural address at the dinner that he would concentrate on the problem of bullying among healthcare professionals in the public healthcare system.
For the healthcare system to properly reflect universal health coverage, he also emphasised the need for greater distribution of specialist services nationwide.
“With the tabling of Budget 2023 coming up in October, MMA is hopeful of seeing a budget for healthcare truly reflecting the government’s commitment towards reforms,“ he said.