By Malaysian Health Coalition
THE Malaysian Health Coalition recognises that the Government has received extraordinary power to manage the pandemic via the Emergency declaration (announced Jan 12) and the movement control order (MCO), announced Jan 11).
We support any intention to protect the health of the rakyat. On our part, we will continue to fulfil our duty as health professionals and as citizens.
On the Government’s part, we demand that it uses its power responsibly and effectively to protect the rakyat.
We further demand the following:
Depoliticise Malaysia’s health services
The frontline health professionals who have tirelessly served the rakyat throughout the pandemic must not be politicised. The government must prepare and deliver a basket of solutions which protects the rakyat, cares for our frontliners and fights the pandemic.
Many of these solutions have been previously proposed. While MCO can be one part of the COVID-19 response strategy, we do not support it as the main policy response, and do not accept any politicisation of the health system.
Deliver a long-term COVID-19 strategy
COVID-19 will be a multi-year pandemic even with vaccines arriving soon. Therefore, the government must prepare and deliver a robust long-term plan to manage COVID-19 while allowing economic and public life to safely continue.
This includes engaging and collaborating with professional societies, private sector stakeholders, non-government bodies and citizens. We support the decision to convene an independent advisory panel for evidence-based decision-making on national COVID-19 management.
We expect transparency in the decision-making process, and for health experts to be regularly consulted.
Assist rakyat in the MCO states
There must be all-of-government coordination to provide the rakyat with adequate financial and mental health support during the MCO. The economic impact of MCO 2.0 will be more severe.
We also fear that calls to suicide prevention and domestic violence hotlines will spike as they did during the first MCO. Besides that, floods in several states have impacted healthcare delivery and many households’ ability to safely self-isolate.
The Government must provide adequate resources to support all vulnerable residents of Malaysia.
Malaysia needs predictability and stability to effectively fight the pandemic. The MCO only serves to buy us more time.
The Government must use this time and their extraordinary powers to deliver a long-term COVID-19 plan, consult experts, and avoid another MCO at all costs. – Jan 13, 2021
The MHC is a coalition of over 50 organisations and individuals representing health professionals in Malaysia
- Academy of Medicine of Malaysia
- Academy of Family Physicians Malaysia
- Association of Private Hospitals Malaysia
- Asthma Malaysia
- Befrienders Kuala Lumpur
- CERAH Haze Action Group Malaysia
- IKRAM Health
- College of Anaesthesiologists
- College of Emergency Physicians
- College of Ophthalmologists
- College of Physicians
- College of Public Health Medicine
- Dermatology Society of Malaysia
- Dr Wu Lien-Teh Society
- Family Medicine Specialists Association
- Federation of Reproductive Health Associations
- Islamic Medical Association Malaysia (IMAM)
- Lung Cancer Network of Malaysia
- Malaysian Association of Dental Public Health Specialists
- Malaysian Association of Environmental Health
- Malaysian Association of Medical Assistants
- Malaysian Association of Speech-Language & Hearing
- Malaysian Dental Association
- Malaysian Health Diplomacy Foundation
- Malaysian Mental Health Association
- Malaysian Nurses Association
- Malaysian Oncological Society
- Malaysian Paediatric Association
- Malaysian Pharmacists Society
- Malaysian Society of Anaesthesiologists
- Malaysian Society of Intensive Care
- Malaysian Society of Nephrology
- Malaysian Thoracic Society
- Medical Mythbusters Malaysia
- Medical Practitioners Coalition Association of Malaysia
- MMA Public Health Society
- MyWATCH Action for Tobacco
- National Cancer Society Malaysia
- Pertubuhan Doktor-doktor Islam Malaysia (PERDIM)
- Public Health Malaysia
- Public Health Physicians Association
- Rare Diseases Alliance Foundation of Malaysia
- Tan Sri Dr Abu Bakar Suleiman
- Tan Sri Dr Mani Jegathesan
- Datuk (Dr) Anwar Fazal
- Datuk Dr Amar Singh-HSS
- Prof Datuk Dr Lokman Hakim
- Prof Datuk Dr Mohd Zin Bidin
- Prof Datuk Dr Zulkifli Ismail
- Prof Dr Ahmad Hata Rasit
- Prof Dr Raja Affendi Raja Ali
- Prof Dr Mohd Zamrin Dimon
- Prof Dr Roslina Abdul Manap
- Prof Dr Sazzli Shahlan Kasim
- Prof Dr Shaiful Bahari Ismail
- Prof Dr Sharifa Ezat Wan Puteh
- Prof Dr Zaleha Abdullah Mahdy
- Assoc Prof Dr Uma Devi Palanisamy
- Dr Nur Amalina Che Bakri
- Dr Khor Swee Kheng
Malaysian Health Coalition is an apolitical coalition of Malaysian health professional societies, health professionals and citizens dedicated to improving the health of Malaysians, strengthening the Malaysian health system, and supporting health in all policies.
The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.