Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad was appointed as the new Health Minister of Malaysia on 18 May 2018, following Malaysia’s 14th General Election. The 62-year-old Parti Amanah Negara Strategic Director is the Member of Parliament (MP) of the Kuala Selangor constituency.

Profile
  • Born on 1 January 1956 in Rembau, Negri Sembilan. 
  • Married to Azlin Hezri and blessed with seven children.
  • Holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Birmingham and a Master of Science degree from the University of Surrey, United Kingdom.
  • He received his doctorate in Medical Science (Toxicology) from Imperial College, UK (St Mary's Hospital Medical School) in 1993.
  • He was a lecturer at the Faculty of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang and Universiti Sains Malaysia Hospital (HUSM), Kelantan, in the 1980s and 1990s.
  • In 2008, he published a collection of political analyses in a book entitled 'Blind Spot', and he has served as a columnist for the Harakah newspaper and the Edge Financial Daily. 

Breaking the mould: A Health Minister who is not a medical doctor

Dr Dzulkefly believes that the Prime Minister had thoroughly considered his appointment as the Health Minister and appreciates the Prime Minister’s trust in him.

"Given my academic background, my political involvement and my role as the strategic director for Parti Amanah Negara, I think he considered all those factors.

"If he wanted a medical doctor, he would've chosen someone else. But he chose a medical scientist. I think he knows the ministry is not alien to me. He knows I am someone who understands the ministry's task," said Dr Dzulkefly.

Regarding the appointment of a medical scientist rather than a medical doctor as Health Minister, Dr Dzulkefly said that some previous health ministers were not medical doctors either, but were still able to lead the ministry well.

"Ask who is Datuk Chua Jui Meng (Health Minister from 1995 to 2004)? He was a lawyer. Who is Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai (Health Minister from 2008 to 2013)? He was a nutritionist. We are not here to solve complex medical problems. We are here to (enable) the strategic management and the delivery of the healthcare system," said Dr Dzulkefly. MIMS

For more on the latest medical news, clinical reference and e-learning modules, sign up now for a FREE MIMS account.

Read more:

Malaysia: Travel tips in conjunction with the GE14

Sources:
https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/its-not-rocket-science-health-minister-need-not-be-a-doctor-says-malaysias-new-health
https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2018/05/19/health-minister-dzulkefly-ahmad-a-respected-leader/