The Ministry of Health (MOH) would like to clarify The Star front page article “No more unneeded tests, hospitals told” dated 11th December 2016. The “bundle system” as mentioned in that article is one of the initiatives that are still in the planning and study phase for further deliberation before it can be implemented. This initiative is part of our continuous effort to improve the health service delivery while looking into optimisation of resources at the MOH hospitals i.e. to increase efficiency.
There are numerous initiatives already implemented nationwide, while some are in the pilot phase, and various others still in the planning phase. The list is exhaustive but among examples of successful high impact initiatives by the MOH are:
- Lean Healthcare initiatives i.e. evaluating and improving the work processes at hospitals by reducing wastage and increasing efficiency.
- Cluster Hospital concept i.e. to decongest bigger and busier hospital, while increase utilisation of smaller and less congested hospitals.
- Drive-Through Pharmacy to reduce waiting time for repeat prescription at outpatient pharmacy. To date, 44 MOH hospitals already implemented this.
- Implementation of Day Care Services at more than 130 MOH hospitals to decrease the costs associated with inpatient hospital stay i.e. by allowing patient to go home on the same day as the operation.
This proposed “bundle system” aims to reduce repetition of some lab investigations, and avoidance of wastage by reducing unnecessary lab investigations. On the other hand for instance, the frequency of test for stable patients in wards or patients with stable chronic medical condition in outpatient clinic can be reduced to avoid wastage. More importantly is to advocate appropriate testing monitored by the specialists and senior clinicians.
Nonetheless if the lab investigation is much needed, it will still be done as required without compromising the safety and quality of care. It is crucial that we balance this initiative with the clinician’s judgement and jurisdiction to request for the necessary tests in managing their patients; especially as the MOH continue to rely upon the good clinical acumen of our fellow clinicians to effectively and efficiently manage their patients. Ultimately, it is the patients who would benefit from this and the end result is to provide high quality but efficient medical care for the Rakyat.
DATUK DR. NOOR HISHAM ABDULLAH
DIRECTOR GENERAL OF HEALTH MALAYSIA
12th December 2016