Prioritise public healthcare efficiency

I WOULD like to record my sincerest appreciation to the Ministry of Health for its brave effort on the front line during the pandemic.

The staff have done a stellar job and kudos to them all for all their hard work in enabling the transition to the endemic phase of Covid-19.

While it is understandable that our public healthcare system is recovering from the challenges of the pandemic, there are serious issues that the Ministry of Health must examine to improve the efficiency of our public healthcare system.

As a pensioner with some ailments, I rely on government hospitals around Klang Valley for my regular check-ups, follow-ups and prescriptions.

I have noticed over the past few months, my healthcare facility is always running low on prescription medication, even though some of it is already generic.

When pressed the hospital staff will always complain about government not having the budget to stock up.

I am always told by the dispensary staff to wait my turn as the queue is long or to go and buy these medicines on my own.

I have had to do it at times, but of course, this eats into my monthly budget and savings.

Meanwhile, my wife has been referred from one government facility to the other for her condition, and it is also a long way from where we live.

Waiting times to see doctors are long and sometimes appointments are rescheduled because the doctors are busy.

I am living frugally on my civil service pension and still have dependents. My wife and I will always have to make multiple trips to the hospital, which add to our strains.

Multiple taxi rides are expensive and having to buy medication again eats into my meagre pension.

As it is, the cost of living, especially food has increased multi-fold in the past year. I believe many pensioners, especially those lower ranking civil servants such as myself on a small pension, can relate to this situation. I understand times are tough, we have to tighten our belts.

However, I cannot help but feel let down by our public healthcare system and and it hurts to know that a certain former prime minister-now-criminal can be given better treatment according to his whims and fancies.

I too gave my life in service of our nation in my small way. I did not take a single sen from corruption when in service.

In my old age, I am entitled to good government care, the benefit of being a civil servant. That was the deal.

I have to say our health minister is doing a good job in pushing for a budget increase but he must focus.

He is taking on too much, from addressing mental health to legalising medical marijuana and banning smoking for 18-year-olds.

These are all good policies but he must focus on his core KPI: improving public healthcare delivery. No double standards, please, and don’t be side-tracked by politics.

Focus on serving the general public.

I hope that the minister and the ministry will make reforms to improve public healthcare efficiency.

This is a serious matter. We must continue to improve so that more Malaysians can get better treatment, not just the select few. – September 27, 2022.

* Lim Choo Kiang reads The Malaysian Insight.

* This is the opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insight. Article may be edited for brevity and clarity.

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  • Does the government still buy medicine through "crony" middleman cartels?

    Why can't medicine be bought directly from the manufacturers? It will be a lot cheaper. Savings can then be used for other expenses.

    Of course, then there won't be kickbacks.

    Posted 2 months ago by Malaysian First · Reply