Letter to Editor: Time for MOH to embrace change for swift progress in medicare

As we approach 2024, there is anticipation among medical practitioners for improvements. The country, while beautiful with simple people, faces complex management and recycled leadership.

The Honourable Minister of Health, being given a second chance to lead the ministry, prompts curiosity about his current and future performance compared to his previous tenure.

For general practitioners, the streets exhibit a contrast – lavish clinics with banners competing against faded signboards of solo clinics. This silent competition arises from survival for young doctors seeking greener pastures and entrepreneurs, and even foreigners capitalising on the lucrative returns in primary care.

The recurring issue lies in the MOH’s historical emphasis on regulation without effective facilitation. The brain drain reflects a failure in facilitating opportunities.

As I see it, MOH should step down from its regulatory heights and comprehend the ground-level needs, as exemplified by South Korea’s swift progress in the medical industry through facilitation.

It’s time for MOH to embrace change, shifting from a regulatory role to active facilitation. The plea for decent consultation, improved FOMEMA payouts, and advancements in public-private partnerships persist. Despite proposals from relevant associations, change remains elusive.

A “white paper” to address these issues may be a small step or potentially a substantial transformation, but change is imperative in a dynamic environment. As individuals evolve, so should MOH.

A KL General Practitioner