(2009), "Malaysia - Health director-general on innovation in healthcare", International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, Vol. 22 No. 3. https://doi.org/10.1108/ijhcqa.2009.06222cab.005Download as .RIS
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Malaysia - Health director-general on innovation in healthcare
Article Type: News and views From: International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, Volume 22, Issue 3
Keywords: Public Healthcare, healthcare Strategy, Healthcare Access
The rising incidence of chronic diseases and increasing prevalence of obesity is a very worrying health trend in Malaysia, according to the Director-General of Health, Tan Sri Dr Ismail Merican.
He said making changes to the healthcare system would not be sufficient to maintain and improve our health. “In fact we need to shift gears and apply a new mindset in the development of health and health policies,” he said.
Dr Ismail said a major obstacle to solving some of the country’s public health issues relating to non-communicable diseases was behavioral change. “How do we get the community to be interested and committed to behavioral change?” he asked.
“We have flooded the country with much information through the media, seminars and talks, but we have yet to be successful.”
He called on public health specialists to engage in meaningful research and network with their colleagues and peers in other sectors or discipline both nationally and internationally to produce innovative strategies to address these challenges.
Dr Ismail said there had also been much public concern about issues such as food safety, environmental contamination due to chemical agents and the effects of climatic changes on health.
“The impact of climate change has a direct relationship to vector borne, water-borne and food borne diseases, affecting growth, development and survival of microbes and vectors, consequently affecting the timing and intensity of disease outbreaks.
Therefore it is our duty to anticipate and take steps to formulate innovative strategies to mitigate such harm,” he emphasized.
He urged them to start thinking about the strategies now rather than to wait for others to invite them to start thinking about the strategies. He added that reducing the high incidence of communicable diseases should be an overriding priority.
The public health specialists should also consider how to curb the growing pattern of non-communicable diseases and the health needs of the poor and vulnerable.
Dr Ismail said the Public Health fraternity needed to be right in the forefront, engaging in the issues and finding ways to apply existing knowledge and current scientific evidence and integrate the various frameworks and action plans addressing specific risk factors and particular diseases into a holistic and definitive approach.
For more information visit www.mma.org.my