Think tank lists 2 urgent tasks for new health minister

Luyang Health Clinic disinfected after patient lies about travel history

A think tank has called on new Health Minister Dr Adham Baba and his two deputies to strengthen prevention and control measures related to the Covid-19 outbreak.

Galen Centre for Health and Social Policy also hoped that Adham would introduce critical healthcare financing reforms to maintain quality and affordability.

Earlier today, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin announced the appointment of Adham and deputy ministers Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali and Aaron Ago Dagang.

Galen CEO Azrul Mohd Khalib said the appointments came at a critical time because of the Covid-19 outbreak and the increasing health needs of Malaysians which were straining resources in the healthcare system.

“The public healthcare sector requires firm, qualified and visionary leadership that is based on ground realities.

“Long-term and people-centred policymaking to address current and future health challenges is very much needed,” he said in a statement.

On Covid-19, Azrul said there was a need to strengthen public health measures and surveillance to minimise local transmission of cases.

“Ensure that infectious disease prevention and control continue to be a priority for health security,” he said.

He noted that the previous administration had set a high bar through bold initiatives in digital health, health prevention, and tobacco control measures.

“Investments in innovative solutions and political commitments are still needed to address gaps which continue to exist in health service delivery and infrastructure in East Malaysia and rural communities.

“The people in Sarawak and Sabah need urgent attention to their health needs,” he said.

Azrul also urged Adham to consult with stakeholders and opt for evidence-based policies even if they were not popular with the people.

“We hope the minister and his colleagues will be steadfast in their resolve to protect the health of all Malaysians,” he said.