The new Health Minister needs to introduce a new communication policy in the war against Covid-19!
The Member of Parliament for Iskandar Puteri, Lim Kit Siang has urged for a revamp of the Malaysian Health Ministry (MOH)’s communication strategy by answering pressing issues regarding Covid-19 in our country that have been brought up by private medical practitioners and the ordinary public.
In a press statement yesterday (29 August 2021), the veteran DAP lawmaker congratulated Khairy Jamaluddin for his appointment as the new Health Minister at a most critical time in our country as we have lost the war against Covid-19 for the past year. Lim asserted,
“(Khairy’s) challenge is to stop the escalation of daily new Covid-19 cases and Covid-19 deaths and win the war against the Covid-19 pandemic by returning Malaysia to the National Day month last year when we had only daily double-digit Covid-19 cases and single-digit Covid-19 deaths.”
Furthermore, the Iskandar Puteri MP also shared an e-mail he received from a private medical practitioner which raised several issues regarding the Health Ministry’s handling of the pandemic that requires attention and solutions from the new Health Minister. Lim then urged for Khairy to overhaul his ministry’s communication policy and answer the issues swirling among private medical practitioners as well as the ordinary public such as the ones mentioned in the e-mail.
Among the issues raised by the private medical practitioner include:
1. The government’s inability to handle the Covid-19 infection crisis
- How can our country reach such high casualties from Covid-19? A 7-day average of 267 deaths is simply not acceptable.
- How can our country lack health facilities and now, medicine when some of the drugs are manufactured locally?
- How can we be lacking in nurses to manage ICUs and reach a state where people over 50-years-old are denied ventilators?
2. How would MOH care for Covid-19 patients asked to self-quarantine at home
- Home treatment is acceptable. But how does MOH care for them? Self quarantine at home with no treatment except Panadol for fever, for an illness that can kill?
- How is that person going to feel, when they are abandoned in a room by himself, with NO TREATMENT? Where is the hope that they can get better?
- Is that why, because of the sense of abandonment and give up (no hope) that so many (about 1/3 deaths) are “brought in dead” or BID?
3. Why is the government only depending on vaccines to get out of this pandemic?
- By now, about 44% of our population is fully vaccinated. We should see some flattening of cases and at least, the positive test rates should reduce to 10% (WHO recommends 5%). We are still at the 13-15% range despite 44% vaccination.
- With this strategy of vaccine passport, it will further divide the people into the haves and the have-nots, the “clean” and the “unclean”. Is that healthy for the country?
- Why are fully vaccinated individuals allowed to dine-in at restaurants when even those vaccinated can still spread the Delta variant to the next table?
4. Is a ‘herd-immunity’ strategy still viable with the emergence of the Delta variant?
- A better strategy will be to vaccinate the vulnerable, maintain hospital facilities and open up. Allow life to return. That will allow the young and healthy to get natural immunity, which is a more comprehensive form of immunity to help reach a stage when this virus is endemic and we then live with it.
- Healthcare facilities can be greatly aided if MOH will get a supplementary budget to build more temporary hospitals, buy or get equipment donated and enlist medical students who have completed their medical finals, to start working as the first part of their 3-year housemanship.
- There are eager medical graduates out there waiting to start. Why not use them? Yes, they need supervision, I am sure that can be arranged. Surely you have an extra pair of hands in this crisis.
5. Why did the government stopped General Practitioners (GPs) from helping with vaccination?
- Lately the vaccination rates have slacked to 270,000 from a high of 550,000 daily. Was this because of a lack of vaccines?
- We have not yet reached 90% national vaccination target. No where near and we are closing down vaccination centers. Where is the justification?
6. How is the MOH handling other health issues such as Dengue?
- Is it true that Dengue cases are going up amidst this Covid-19 pandemic?
- Hospital beds are full and so also ICU. Many of these background endemic diseases will begin to show up, one by one. We have just taken too long to manage this Covid crisis.
For the past year, Malaysia lost the war against Covid-19 pandemic and has become one of the worst performing nations in the world in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic. Khairy Jamaluddin alongside all the other Ministers in the new Federal Government must not repeat their past failures and win the Covid-19 war, for the sake of Malaysians. – The Rocket.