KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s healthcare system needs to be transformed from solely addressing diseases to focusing on overall well-being and prevention, says former health minister Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad.
Delivering the opening speech at the Malaysian Health and Wellness Summit 2023 here today, Dzulkefly said Malaysia should imagine a future where healthcare is not just about treating illnesses, but is a holistic system promoting well-being and disease prevention.
“When individuals are empowered to take charge of their well-being, they become active participants in their own health journeys.
“This shift from a reactive model to a proactive one is not only more cost effective, but also leads to significantly improved health outcomes,” he said.
Dzulkefly said the healthcare system faces challenges such as access disparities, the rise of non-communicable diseases, an ageing population, infrastructure needs, limited health literacy, and overlooked mental health concerns.
“Government agencies, healthcare providers, NGOs and private entities must collaborate to ensure a comprehensive approach to healthcare delivery and promotion,” he said.
He said the health white paper plays a crucial role in attaining these goals, highlighting the “significance of a paradigm shift” to prioritising health and wellness.
On June 15, health minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa presented the white paper initiated by the previous government, which outlines four pillars and 15 health reform strategies to establish a healthcare system focused on preventive and promotive services.
The 57-page document details healthcare reforms to be implemented in phases over 15 years.