A recent survey of 358 individuals recorded waiting times endured by the general Malaysian public in government hospitals and clinics. The survey, carried out by Malay Mail Online, also touched on other reasons why some people have stopped medical treatment at public healthcare institutions.

Malaysia’s Ministry of Health (MOH) admitted on 20 August that the shortage of drug supply for certain medications was due to problems being faced by drug manufacturers. This comes after a news portal reported on 14 August that patients were rationed to less than a month’s supplies.

The Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) urged on 18 August, for a more efficient and transparent process for prescribing branded medicines to patients, amid the Ministry of Health’s (MOH) “generic first” policy that has been changed to include pensioners. This has also generated unnecessary conflict and backlog of claims.

Hospital Tengku Ampuan Rahimah (HTAR) in Klang has allegedly been the subject of a viral video rapidly shared by netizens last weekend. The half-a-minute clip showed a rat feasting on the food counter of a canteen. Nonetheless, the canteen, which was ordered to close on Friday, has resumed operations that same night – after obtaining approval from authority.

In a response to the Ministry of Health (MOH)’s announcement that it will investigate the practice of private health insurance companies – for imposing administrative charges on private hospitals – insurance associations have rebutted; further urging government to implement greater transparency among private hospitals, as far as medical fees are concerned.

“Dr Ridzuan” – the now-infamous fraud was arrested after impersonating a doctor in a Kedah hospital for close to a year. Malaysian Health Minister (MOH) affirms that security will be reviewed and tightened to prevent any of such recurrence. Other experts are uncertain about ‘complete’ prevention – and believe psychological issues play a major role.

Health and medical tourism in Malaysia has been greatly contributing to the country’s economy. Strengthened with strategic plans in the pipeline and an abundance of resources – the government anticipates a boost in this division’s revenue.

On 10 August, the Sessions Court was told that Imperial Dental Specialist Centre Sdn Bhd had no licence for the handling of X-ray apparatus. The centre is currently facing charges in connection with the death of the deputy prime minister’s son-in-law, Datuk Syed Alman Zain Syed Alwi, who received his treatment there last year.

GPs in private clinics have spoken out against the recent alleged action taken by the pharmaceutical enforcement unit (PEU) on them. Other local groups are also criticising the PEU’s over-controlling nature in terms of inspecting GP clinics and requesting patients’ details.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam recently announced the distribution of 500 ambulances to medical institutions in Malaysia – from an allocation of a whopping RM400 million. Local groups are condemning the excessive sum.

Recently, the National Heart Association of Malaysia published an updated clinical practice guideline on the primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease in order to encompass modern developments and an increase in information about the potential causation of CVD.