10/09/2021
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A strong start by the health minister, and more is needed

The Malaysian Health Coalition (MHC) welcomes the strong start by Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, and note the recent evaluation criteria that he set for the Ministry of Health (MOH).

We hope to see the entire MOH machinery, as well as inter-agency collaborations, be mobilized to achieve these goals.

We urge the following:

  1. Clarify the specific policy changes for an endemic COVID

The Minister stated that Malaysia “can expect to move into an endemic COVID-19 phase” by the end of October 2021.

The MOH must clearly communicate this new strategy to the public by announcing the specific policy changes to its COVID-19 responses.

Controlling virus transmissibility,  routine vaccination programsefficient testing, and improving healthcare capacity, are among the areas that require clear policy shifts, so that we can treat COVID-19 as part of daily Malaysian life.

We urge some caution in labeling COVID-19 as endemic, unless these parts of our health system are strengthened. Otherwise, we risk a complacent population or a public administration that stops focusing on COVID-19.

  1. Involve expertise from outside MOH when making decisions.

We believe that it is the Minister’s right to build a team which he feels comfortable working with. Nevertheless, we recommend the Minister to get appropriate health advisers and implementation partners, especially from among health experts outside the MOH.

Therefore, we urge that non-MOH health advisers and implementation partners be systematically embedded within the decision-making and implementation process, rather than be consulted on an ad hoc basis.

A good working model is the Greater Klang Valley Task Force. The MHC and our member organisations are ready to assist.

  1. Establish phased Key Performance Indexes (KPIs) for 30-60-90 Days

We commend the Minister’s 100 Day KPIs. However, as we are in the middle of a raging pandemic, some urgent measures must be taken earlier than the 100 days.

Therefore, we suggest the Minister agrees on a phased set of KPIs to be achieved within 30, 60, and 90 days, together with MOH and non-MOH experts.

This phased KPIs must be publicized for accountability, and also to unite all of Malaysia to achieve these KPIs together.

These phased KPIs must be merged with the National Recovery Plan, Budget 2022 and Rancangan Malaysia ke-12, where Health must be at the forefront of all policy considerations.

We must now make up for some lost time due to the political instability of the last 18-months. Therefore, we stand behind the new Health Minister as he leads the MOH to turn the COVID-19 tide in Malaysia’s favor.

We will fulfill our duties as responsible health professionals and citizens.

Malaysian Health Coalition

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