Keep politics out of health system, medical group tells govt
Published on: Thursday, January 14, 2021
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PETALING JAYA: A grouping of doctors has urged Putrajaya to depoliticise Malaysia’s health services, following the reintroduction of the movement control order (MCO) and declaration of emergency that grants the government sweeping powers to manage the pandemic.

The Malaysian Health Coalition, made up of 45 medical groups and 18 individual doctors, said the efforts of all frontliners, who have worked hard throughout the last 10 months, 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,” it said in a statement.

“While the MCO can be a 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.”

Noting that Covid-19 would be around for the next few years, the coalition said Putrajaya must devise a long-term plan to manage the pandemic, and be transparent about the decision-making process while regularly consulting health experts.

It also expressed concern over another possible spike of calls to suicide prevention and domestic violence hotlines, similar to the first MCO.

“There must be an all-of-government coordination to provide the people with adequate financial and mental health support during the MCO,” it said, adding that resources also had to be provided to those in states hit by floods.

“The MCO only serves to buy us more time. The government must use this time and its extraordinary powers to deliver a long-term Covid-19 plan, consult experts and avoid another MCO at all costs.”


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