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Innovative health financing must be sufficient to…

Innovative health financing must be sufficient to…

PUTRAJAYA: Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Health Financing Forum today that any innovative health financing should ensure that there is sufficient investment into funding a “Health for All” approach.

“Better health financing through adequate, efficient, and equitable public sector funding is key to a sustainable health system,” said Khairy at the opening of the forum virtually.

He said the Covid-19 pandemic showed the need to refocus economies and prioritise investments in health to ensure a more sustainable and resilient health system.

Globally, he pointed out that Covid-19 had disrupted the service delivery, health workforce, health information system, the health financing and governance, as well as the accessibility to medicines and vaccines.

Learning from this experience, Khairy said it was vital for APEC members to re-evaluate and chart a strong and clear course to ensure the health systems’ sustainability and resilience to face future health crises and improve safety nets, especially for the low and middle income groups.

He said better health financing could be achieved through strengthening primary healthcare (PHC).

“PHC is essential as it is at the core of all efforts towards universal health coverage (UHC) by providing comprehensive and continuous care through a much wider range of multidisciplinary health services.

“It is the most inclusive, effective, and efficient way to protect the health of people and communities,” he said.

Khairy told the health forum that Malaysia is currently developing a Health White Paper (HWP) with the aim of further strengthening the country’s health system holistically.

“The effort recognises the importance of innovative healthcare financing in pursuit of sustainable healthcare and goes beyond direct healthcare delivery that includes tackling the social determinants of health.

“Besides addressing population-level challenges such as an ageing society and the burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and gaps in our system including an imbalance in service delivery, limited funding for health and underutilisation of data, innovation and technology,” he also said.

On Aug 15, Khairy said the HWP which is expected to be tabled in Parliament in November should be the country’s collective statement of intent on how it can make the health system more sustainable and resilient through a “whole of government” and “whole of society” mindset. – Bernama

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