Borneo: National strategy on healthcare challenges

KUCHING: The Ministry of Health has developed a comprehensive national strategy to overcome healthcare challenges in line with the Malaysian National Medicines Policy.

According to Pharmaceutical Services senior director Dr Salmah Bahri, the strategy was aimed to ensure medicines were used judiciously, appropriately, safely and cost-effectively towards promoting better health outcomes.

“This shall be achieved through the development and implementation of models of best practice, education and training, provision of timely and accurate information on medicines, and strengthening seamless care between public and private health care providers.”

“At the same time research and development in quality use of medicines, and engagement of payers involved in reimbursement for medicine used is also among the methods,” said Salmah at the opening ceremony of Sarawak Pharmacy Conference at the State Library yesterday.

On a related matter, Salmah said irrational use of medicines remains a major issue facing most health systems across the world, with an estimated 50 per cent patient failing to take their medicines correctly.

“Wastage of health resources as well as widespread health hazards can occur as a result of overuse, underuse and misuse of medicines.

“This issue is known to be worse in developing countries where health systems are weaker,” she added.

She added that the pharmaceutical services division in Sarawak had done a great job in promoting quality use of medicines and expressed her satisfaction that both the public and private sectors had embraced the challenges of the irrational use of medicines and promoting quality use of medicines at the same time.

Among the highlights of the conference were presentation of working papers by representatives from Sarawak General Hospital, Sarawak Heart Centre, Ministry of Health, University Sains Malaysia and Normah Medical Specialist.

The event also saw planery session and symposium on issues such as digital health and future of pharmacy industry and diabetes management.

Sarawak Pharmaceutical Society president Susan Tang Siew Chin and event advisor Abu Hassan Alshaari were present at the event.

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