We propose three guiding principles to ensure achievable and practical targets:
1. Be inclusive, transparent and holistic in healthcare resource allocation
The Ministry of Health (MOH) should champion inclusive and holistic healthcare by ensuring equitable and accessible distribution of healthcare resources in society.
This must focus on vulnerable groups such as the indigenous, people with disabilities, senior citizens, migrants, prisoners, stigmatized communities and other underprivileged populations.
Healthcare must be universal to all human persons, regardless of socioeconomic status, race, religion or identity.
Therefore, the MOH must consult key stakeholders such as patients, members of the public, healthcare workers, insurance companies, managed care organizations and most importantly, other ministries in cultivating a culturally sensitive and sustainable approach.
We urge that the distribution of financial, human and political capital be guided by demographic needs, disease burdens and future strategies.
The MOH must uphold the principles of transparency and accountability in these allocations to ensure justice and effectiveness.
2. Build inter-agency collaborations
While the healthcare system may be synonymous with the MOH, the MOH requires support from many other entities such as the Ministry of Finance, Treasury, Public Service Division, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), private for-profit businesses, medical health associations and many more.
We encourage multi-sectoral collaboration, especially between ministries, in the preparation and implementation of this White Paper to ensure a smoother, more comprehensive delivery that will benefit the rakyat.
This can be achieved in inter-agency working groups across multiple phases of drafting ranging from the earlier phases of gathering input to the more final phases of setting operational details.
This allows for congruous policy making that will establish a strong foundation of “health-in-all-policies”.
3. Use the Health Reform Commission as an implementation body
The implementation of the White Paper is critical. As such, MHC welcomes the proactive establishment of the Health Reform Commission to ensure accountability and continuity in the implementation of these policies.
This commission will be tasked with monitoring, advising and reporting on the status of healthcare reforms to the Parliament and the public.
It is also crucial to ensure a transparent process in appointing well-qualified individuals to HRC who will then act as a neutral and credible body in the implementation process.
This undeniably injects stability into the healthcare political economy no matter what the future holds.
We look forward to the tabling of the White Paper and its subsequent implementation which we believe will greatly benefit the healthcare system and ultimately, our rakyat.