Malaysia needs an equitable healthcare system


A few years ago, the government announced its intention to restructure the country’s health system, particularly the financing and delivery of health services. Are the increasing privatisation and marketisation of health services desirable?How can Malaysia’s healthcare system be made more equitable?

Malaysia’s relatively equitable health system of the past

Any humane society must adopt the principle that healthcare is a right of all its citizens and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights recognises “the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.” A system that provides for universal and comprehensive health benefits to all must be put in place. Access to healthcare should be based on need and not ability to pay.

Until the mid-1980s, the Malaysian government did a reasonably good job of providing a satisfactory healthcare service to all.

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