The Ministry of Health Malaysia has managed to reach out to 50,000 rural Malaysians on the topics of diabetes, hypertension and obesity with the co-operation of the Ministry of Rural and Regional Development in just under 6 months.
Speaking at the Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute (ASLI) HealthCare Forum 2015 at the Palace of the Golden Horses on the 12th of March 2015, Minister of Health, YB Datuk Seri Dr. S Subramanian, said 13,000 trained Community Development Division (KEMAS) staff had successfully run blood glucose tests, blood pressure tests and weight checks in villages across the country.
The program has made basic healthcare and monitoring much more accessible to those who need it. Datuk Seri Dr. S Subramanian also mentions that having another ministry in collaboration with his has put the urgency of better health awareness in the priority list of more decision-makers, bleeding into daily life as it should be. By the end of this phase of the program, the Ministry of Health will have up-to-date statistics on diseases in rural areas, and a better network for management of controlled and uncontrolled patients.
He states that he has high ambitions to reach out to 1.5 million Malaysians by the end of December 2016, both in rural and urban communities, which he says will be “the largest interaction in a community level in trying to cause a transformational change”. The Health Ministry plans to achieve this by enlisting existing government agencies, like the Rukun Tetangga communities under the purview of the Ministry of National Unity.
The conference, themed ‘Malaysian Healthcare: Trends, Opportunities & Challenges’ saw participation from 150 key role players from pharmaceuticals, government officials, medical associations and industry leaders sought to answer the challenges raised by the minister, as well as those presented by its six moderators.