The hot topics in Penang are rising property prices and worsening traffic jams. There are good objective reasons for this, but we must not forget an area of great concern to common people – public healthcare.
When Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak visited Penang on December 8, 2012, he promised to build 20,000 affordable condominiums and a monorail if the BN wins in Penang in the coming general election. This is very revealing. To him and his advisors, affordable housing and public transport are not only huge problems in Penang, they are also issues that most easily attract public attention.
But an important subject that needs a ending to as well is public healthcare. This matter has been largely ignored or forgotten in public discourses, and even when medical services are the subject of conversation, the only thing talked about is “medical tourism”, especially the influx of Indonesians coming to the island for medical treatment in private hospitals.
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