The Academy of Medicine of Malaysia (AMM), which represents over 3,000 medical specialists nationwide from the public, private and academic sectors, is prepared to serve and assist the Ministry of Health (MoH) with its COVID-19 management plan, irrespective of their place of duty.
AMM, in its statement today, said the academy welcomes the government’s decision to engage with private sector healthcare providers to ease the burden on public hospitals and healthcare workers.
“If we collectively mobilise all public and private healthcare resources, we will have sufficient surge capacity to keep the pandemic under control until we achieve herd immunity through widespread vaccination. We hope that this is only the first step in a long-term process of better integrating our health system for the benefit of all Malaysians,” the statement said.
AMM said it was aware that there are many facets that need attention to streamline the public and private healthcare systems effectively and efficiently, and this includes, but is not limited to, patient coverage, distribution of hospital beds and personal protective equipment and fair compensation for healthcare workers.
AMM also takes note that there is some concern regarding private hospitals’ capacity to manage Covid-19 patients given the limited human resource infrastructure, ICU set-up and specialists in the private sector, who themselves may belong to high-risk groups.
“We trust that all these matters will be accounted for and hope to see creative solutions such as secondments of medical staff to private hospitals and cross-referrals between hospitals.
“Coordinating the two healthcare systems is no mean feat, but we are confident in MOH’s ability, in collaboration with the Association of Private Hospitals Malaysia (APHM) and all relevant stakeholders, to find solutions that will best suit all parties,” the statement read.
AMM said such collaboration is also timely in light of the increase in COVID-19 infections among healthcare workers as these are risks when they answer the call of duty.
“AMM sees great potential in private-public partnerships helping to mitigate these risks for our frontline healthcare workers in the future,” it said.