KUALA LUMPUR, March 28 — DAP MP Tony Pua today accused the Health Ministry of being insincere in its promise to explain “1 Care” to Malaysians, pointing to the four-day notice given for the first of its nationwide roadshow this Saturday.
The Petaling Jaya Utara MP claimed that notices on the 10.30am event was just distributed to healthcare professionals today and offered little time to concerned stakeholders to arrange to be there.
If the notice was to be published in the newspapers tomorrow, the public would only have three days’ notice.
“I feel this is an insincere act by the ministry, because if they truly want to collect feedback from Malaysians and industry players, they need to give a longer notice,” he said at a press conference in Parliament today.
Pua said there would be “limited seating” for the event, to be held at the Healthcare Management Institution in Bangsar.
“From what I know, there are no more than 100 seats available there,” he said.
According to the notice, those interested to attend would have to register through email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“I hope all concerned parties will attend this forum and record their opposition to 1 Care,” he said.
The ministry earlier this month said it would tour the country to explain and engage on healthcare plans after the opposition demanded it reveal details and the status of the 1 Care scheme.
PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail charged that the roadshow was an “afterthought”, mooted only after strong public opposition.
She said it was surprising Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai had waited until after the issue hit the headlines before engaging the public. She questioned Liow’s sincerity.
“Like other BN pronouncements such as the SBPA (Public Service Remuneration Scheme), it seems consultation is only an afterthought,” Dr Wan Azizah said.
“We have received complaints from doctors involved in previous consultations on 1 Care that there was no true engagement or dialogue involved. The government is set to continue with 1 Care.”
Dr Wan Azizah, who served as a government doctor for 14 years before entering politics, urged Liow to end his silence on the opposition’s suggestion on what should be done to improve the healthcare system.
1 Care has come under fire from healthcare practitioners and the public, who claim that individuals and businesses will be forced to hand over 10 per cent of their earnings each month to the government-run insurance fund.
The scheme is expected to replace the current two-tier healthcare system with one that integrates private and government hospitals in the hope of ensuring more equitable healthcare for Malaysians of all classes.
Under the present system, patients can choose to be treated at private clinics or hospitals and pay out of their own pockets, or opt for government clinics or hospitals, paying a nominal fee for basic, federally subsidised healthcare.
The ministry has assured critics that the 1 Care scheme will not burden the public with undue costs. Talks are continuing on the financial arrangements and their impact on the government and taxpayers.