MOH to look into Sarawak’s request for health autonomy – Dr Dzulkefly

KUCHING, Jan 12: The Ministry of Health (MOH) will look into the request made by the Sarawak Government to have administrative control over healthcare matters.

Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad said he had taken note of the numerous views and recommendations conveyed by Deputy Premier cum Minister of Public Health, Housing and Local Government Datuk Amar Dr Sim Kui Hian pertaining to the request during their meeting here today.

He said the healthcare matters include those related to infrastructure, administration, human resources, and staffing.

“We will definitely look into their request and this will be followed by the setting up of sub-committees that will further scrutinise those matters.

“In my opinion, the request is reasonable,” he told reporters after visiting the Petra Jaya Hospital project site here.

Meanwhile, Dr Dzulkefly who also paid a courtesy call on Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg earlier, said that the Sarawak Government has also requested for the construction of the Sarawak Cancer Centre to be expedited.

“We can no longer delay the construction of this Cancer Centre, which is very much needed (in Sarawak). I will inform the Prime Minister (Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim) about all of Sarawak’s requests,” he said.

On Jan 7, Dr Sim reportedly said that a meeting will be held this week between the MOH and Sarawak Public Health, Housing and Local Government Ministry to deliberate further on the state’s request for autonomy on health matters.

He said Sarawak wants health autonomy to be handed over to the state to ensure the health services reach the best level.

He added that Sarawak needed more health facilities, such as heart centres in Sibu and Miri, due to the massive size of the state and the time taken to travel within it.