PETALING JAYA: Former health minister Dzulkefly Ahmad has called on Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim to provide the leadership needed to reform the healthcare system so it will succeed.
Debating the health white paper in the Dewan Rakyat today, Dzulkefly (PH-Kuala Selangor) said healthcare reforms require commitment from all Cabinet members, including the prime minister, as “health is in all policy and all sectors”.
“If Tambun (Anwar) does not take charge and does not provide the leadership to ensure the reforms will take place, I’m worried that the (reforms) will die before it is born,” he said.
Dzulkefly said the success of the healthcare reform is also determined by the social determinants of health (the non-medical factors that influence health outcomes), including education and the environment.
Earlier today, health minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa presented the health white paper.
The white paper, initiated by the previous government, outlines four pillars and 15 health reform strategies to establish a healthcare system that focuses on preventive and promotive services to ensure the well-being and good health of the people.
Dzulkefly also suggested a “pool and prepaid” healthcare funding strategy by pulling together funds from various sources, including public and private healthcare.
He said healthcare funding should not only be determined by the current 5% of the national gross domestic product (GDP).
“Our healthcare system is predominantly tax based. If we still push for 5% of GDP, it will cost not less than RM130 billion for the next five years,” he said.