Selangor Journal
Health Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa delivers her speech during her official visit to Kuala Lumpur Hospital, on March 17, 2023. — Picture by BERNAMA

Sabah, Sarawak to have full access to safe surgical, anaesthesia care by 2030 — Minister

KUCHING, March 19 —The Health Ministry (MOH) has envisioned for Sabah and Sarawak to reach 100 per cent access to safe surgical and anaesthesia care by 2030, said its minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa.

Among the challenges faced by the ministry to achieve the target is the lack of trained doctors, vast area, land topography and transport network, as well as the scattered population of the Borneo states.

“Now it is about 75 per cent (for Sabah and Sarawak), so we hope in a few years, we can actually expand more and better to reach 100 per cent,” she told a press conference after officiating at the 1st Global Surgery Conference Malaysia: The New Dawn here, today.

Earlier in her speech, Dr Zaliha said the initiative would be realised with MOH’s plan of continuous regular training of medical officers and placement of more surgical and anaesthesia specialists in identified hospitals in both states.

According to a recent study published in the ANZ Journal of Surgery, 94 per cent of the Malaysian population have access to the Bellwether procedures such as laparotomy, Caesarean section and treatment of open fractures within two hours.

The conference, which commenced today until March 21, aims to expand the global surgery initiative and create understanding among all stakeholders while serving as a platform for knowledge sharing to realise the initiative in Malaysia.

Meanwhile, she said MOH’s aim of producing over 20,000 specialists by 2030 would also benefit Sarawak, which was recently reported to be in dire need of more plastic surgeons due to the rising number of burn patients.

“This has to be done through training, get more people to have interest in becoming specialists, and of course, we hope by then we will have enough specialists to serve MOH in all disciplines, not just for burn,” Dr Zaliha said.

Commenting on the air ambulance initiative using the Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department helicopters proposed by the Local Government Development Ministry (KPKT), she said the method is quite similar to the Flying Doctor Service in Sarawak.

However, the air ambulance service would focus on mobilising patients from remote areas or efforts to rescue victims of road accidents on highways.

“I support this initiative by KPKT, and MOH is still discussing how to collaborate between the two ministries,” Dr Zaliha said.

Recently, Local Government Development Minister Nga Kor Ming said that if the initiative could be realised by year-end, it would save the government at least RM15 million annually.

— Bernama

Top Picks

Trump warns of ‘death and destruction’ if charged with a crime

Malaysia open to fresh talks on aborted King Salman Centre for International Peace — Anwar

Saudi Arabia key country for Malaysia in Middle East — PM Anwar

Editor Selangor Journal