Role of Ministry of Health in Malaysia

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The Ministry of Health’s role is basically to lay the policy and the direction of health services in the country and to show the commitment of the Government, and the powers-to-be, that health is of utmost importance in nation building. And the role of the ministry is to enforce regulations and be the regulator. Imagine if there is no Ministry of Health, anybody can make the claim that their product is the best for health; anybody can set up a hospital. Nobody to regulate the quality of the workforce involved the quality of healthcare, and the quality of equipment. So the Ministry of Health has a big role as a regulator and policy maker.

The Ministry of Health, being the lead agency in health provides leadership on matters relating to health and also sets the direction for health care development in the country. During the Ninth Malaysia Plan period (2006 – 2010), efforts will be undertaken to consolidate health care services, enhance human resource development and optimize resource utilization. The Strategic Plan for Health is a summary of the Country Health Plan, which was developed for the Ninth Malaysia Plan (NMP). It is intended to be a quick reference for all programs, institutions and state departments under the Ministry of Health to ensure that all activities and resources are directed towards similar goals. Achieving the Ministry’s mission and goals will require sustained commitment. The plan will not only serve as a guide within the Ministry of Health, but will also provide a framework for other stakeholders to work together towards improving our health care system.

Without doubt, Malaysia has one of the best health systems in the region. The recently released Country Health Plan: 9th Malaysia Plan 2006-2010 has detailed out the health plan for Malaysia. Much effort had been put into its development. It involved months of deliberations and serious thoughts. Multiple parties, both from within and outside the Ministry of Health, had come aboard to contribute to its contents. Many a supporting document had been scrutinized. The Strategic Plan presents the Country Health Plan at a glance. It is intended to be a guiding light, for all programs, institutions and state departments under the Ministry of Health, to ensure that no activity and resources go astray; that they are aligned along the same intended path.

The health status of Malaysians has improved significantly since the nation achieved its independence in 1957. Despite such success, there remain issues and challenges that need to be addressed. These matters in question range from the evolvement of disease patterns to the administration of health services. As the custodian for health in the country, it is imperative that the Ministry of Health addresses these concerns in the interest of boosting the system which in turn will ensure the health of the people. The Ministry of Health shall give emphasis to the changing patterns of communicable as well as non-communicable diseases, including mental health. At the same time, it will persevere to provide universal coverage of healthcare services at affordable costs. Provision of quality of services and optimization of health resources, in the forms of human, financial, infrastructure and technological will be given priority, both in the public and private sectors. The Ministry of Health will also not overlook the marginalized population such as the underprivileged and elderly as well as those living in the remote parts of the country. At present, the Ministry of Health’s initiatives at reforming healthcare are in progress to support these efforts. Its feat at enriching the health status of Malaysia depends greatly on the promotion of wellbeing to individuals and communities. It shall rely on the awareness, conduct and use of research evidence to continually improve its performance to meet local and global demands. The areas of health care quality, tourism and informatics shall be strengthened to provide the...
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