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Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam

BERA – The health ministry has confirmed that Melaka is free from the rabies disease.

A six-year-old boy who was tested for suspected rabies at the Melaka Hospital has been found to be free of the mad dog virus.

Nevertheless, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said he had still not been informed of the true cause of the child’s illness as many other viruses could show similar symptoms (of the rabies virus).

He was speaking to reporters after visiting the Bera Hospital construction site here today.

He said the outcome proved that rabies had only occurred in Serian, Sarawak, which had so far claimed the lives of four children since its detection on June 30.

On July 14, Melaka Health Department director Datuk Dr Ghazali Othman had confirmed that a child was suspected of having contracted the disease at the Melaka Hospital, but was in stable condition.

The boy was allegedly bitten by a dog when the family returned home to Serian for Adilfitri. The boy’s father initially sent him to the Terendak Camp Military Hospital on July 12 after a month-long fever.

Dr Subramaniam is optimistic the rabies virus in Serian can be controlled through cooperation and joint action between his ministry and the Department of Veterinary Services.

He did not rule out the possibility the rabies cases in Serian could have been transmitted from Kalimantan, Indonesia, where the disease was detected as there was active border movement in that area, including that of canines.

Meanwhile in SEREMBAN, state health director Dr Zainudin Mohd Ali said no rabies case was recorded in Negeri Sembilan.

He said, however, the authorities would continue to carry out monitoring and preventive measures, including detecting dog bite cases in the area for the purpose of treatment.

At the same time, Dr Zainudin also advised all dog owners to have their pets screened at the veterinary services department, if found to be unhealthy. – BERNAMA

PUTRAJAYA – Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S.Subramaniam said 23 doctors who do not have a pass in the Bahasa Melayu (BM) paper of the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM)  examination must sit for the paper until they pass.

“If they fail (this November),  they will keep on taking (BM paper) until they pass ,” he said when asked what would happen if the 23 doctors did not pass the BM paper in November.

The minister said this when met by reporters after opening the Obstetrics and Neonatology block of Putrajaya Hospital, here today.

The Cabinet meeting chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi yesterday decided to revoke the waiver  on a pass with a credit in BM paper at SPM level for hiring of medical officers (doctors) on Grade UD41 on contract basis.

Ahmad Zahid, when announcing the decision yesterday said only 23 doctors, including children of Malaysian diplomats who received medical education overseas,  were allowed the waiver.

The Cabinet meeting also decided that the Medical Act 1971 would be  amended to make it mandatory for medical officers to serve two years after their housemanship and insert a clause on the BM pass requirement.

Pending amendments to the Medical Act 1971 by parliament, the Public Service Department (PSD) , as an employment agency, would implement the BM pass requirement in the recruitment of Grade UD41 medical officers on contract basis.

Dr Subramaniam added the issue was expected to be resolved within one year and by then all the appointed medical officers were expected to fulfil the requirement of passing BM at SPM level.

“This is because the Cabinet’s decision yesterday is clear. Those who do not pass BM paper at SPM level must take the necessary action,” he said adding the group is too small compared to the number of graduate doctors each year. – BERNAMA

PUTRAJAYA – The Cabinet today decided that medical officers newly hired on contract basis on Grade UD41 must pass the Bahasa Melayu (BM) subject at the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM)-level, said Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S.Subramaniam.

He said the decision was taken to create uniformity in appointments involving medical officers and that the Education Ministry would assist in arranging for sitting of the subject on a singular basis without the need for having to take other SPM papers.

Dr Subramaniam clarified that since 2003, the Public Service Department had given a waiver on the requirement (pass in the SPM BM subject) because there was a need for the Health Ministry to hire trainee medical officers on contract basis.

He said that during their two-year housemanship, they were required to pass the subject (SPM BM) before they could be hired as medical officers on a permanent basis.

“Over the past few days, the issue on the SPM BM waiver has caused much confusion. I wish to have it clarified properly. An official statement on this will be issued by the Deputy Prime Minister.

“I also wish to explain that in  2015, the Health Ministry on its own decided that the SPM BM pass requirement was a condition for appointment as a medical officer.

“So, we put in an application in November  2015, and the PSD replied in early 2016 approving the Health Ministry’s application that all new appointments for medical officers will have to meet the condition,” he told a press conference here.

He was responding to the statement by Health Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah that the PSD had agreed to provide a waiver on the SPM BM pass requirement for hiring of medical officers on Grade UD41 on a contract basis on Feb 23 this year.

On Saturday,  Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had urged Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Joseph Entulu Belaun, representing PSD, to explain to the Cabinet today on the relaxation of the SPM BM pass requirement for hiring medical graduates on contract basis under Grade UD41.

Elaborating further,  Dr Subramaniam said hiring of medial officers on a contract basis was introduced last December following a glut of medical graduates.

He said since then (December  2016),  4,500 medical officers were hired out of which only 23 housemen with the ministry did not have a pass in the SPM BM subject due to various factors.

“During the hiring process, we faced a situation where a small number were not educated under the Malaysian education system because they lived with their parents abroad. The education system they underwent was different and they did not take up the BM subject.

“Today, the Cabinet decided that they be given the opportunity to pass the SPM BM subject during their two-year housemanship,” he said. – BERNAMA

GEORGE TOWN – The Ministry of Health is to propose drafting legislation to regulate Managed Care Organisations (MCO) and Third Party Administrators (TPA) under the provisions of the Private Healthcare Facilities and Services Act 1998.

Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said the ministry would look into all areas and study the need for the new law to regulate the whole industry of TPA.

“If there is a need, the MoH will propose a stand-alone new law to regulate the TPA who currently manage the health benefits of employees,” he said to reporters after attending the Malaysian Medical Association dinner last night in conjunction with its 57th annual general meeting here today.

Dr Subramaniam was commenting on a new trend by MCOs and TPAs to force doctors to pay between RM2,500 and RM5,000 as a one-off payment for the appointment of a panel clinic, or RM250 annually.

He said the TPAs and MCOs did not come under the ministry’s purview and that the service offered by them was under a contract between doctors and the entities.

Subramaniam also said that Malaysia today faced new challenges that might require it to adopt a different approach to overcome them for the greater benefit of the nation.

He said a rise in the incidence of non-communicable diseases, emergence of new communicable diseases, re-emergence of vaccine-preventable communicable diseases and an ageing population were among the main issues that the country faced now.

“Our health care spending is still very low compared to that of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) nations.

“Our health expenditure is only around 4.6 per cent of the total Gross Domestic Product compared to higher GDP expenditure in other countries, whereby 52 per cent of the spending is in the public sector and 48 per cent in the private sector,” he said. – BERNAMA

KUALA LUMPUR – MIC is targeting to win seven parliamentary seats, including Cameron Highlands, and 13 state seats in the 14th general election (GE14).

Its president, Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said these seats would be the party’s focus besides the other seats it would be contesting, totalling 28.

“Among the parliamentary seats, we want to win all seven seats out of nine eyed and out of 19 state seats, we are focusing on 13 seats,” he told a press conference after opening the Southeast Asia Public Health Nutrition Conference, here, today.

Dr Subramaniam was asked whether MIC had identified the “safe” seats for the party in the coming general election.

Asked on the list of seats the party was confident of winning, Dr Subramaniam, however, declined to reveal as it would be announced later.

He also reiterated the party’s stand that the Cameron Highlands parliamentary seat “belonged” to MIC and that it would be contesting the seat in GE14.

Asked on demands made by other Barisan Nasional component parties to contest the seat, he said such demands were normal before a general election.

MyPPP president, Tan Sri M. Kayveas had reportedly indicated his intention to contest this seat which is currently held by former MIC president, Datuk Seri G.Palanivel. – BERNAMA

SEREMBAN – Negeri Sembilan MIC is still in the process of identifying eligible candidates to contest in the 14th general election (GE14), said MIC president Datuk Seri S.Subramaniam.

Dr Subramaniam, who is also Health Minister, said MIC had received many requests to become candidates.

“The vetting process is being conducted in several stages, eventually we will find three people with the highest abilities to win in the GE in the state,” he told the media after the stone foundation laying ceremony of SJK (T) Lorong Java, here today.

Also present were Deputy Education Minister Datuk P. Kamalanthan and Negeri Sembilan MIC chairman Datuk L.Manickam.

Dr Subramaniam said MIC would contest in the Teluk Kemang Parliamentary constituency and the two state seats of Jeram Padang and Port Dickson.

Meanwhile he said a special fund federal allocation totalling RM4.5 million had been given to SJK (T) Lorong Java for the construction of additional blocks, which are expected to be completed in two years’ time .

“When completed, it will be equipped with 19 classrooms and other facilities such as science laboratory, library, meeting room and teachers’ room,” he added.- BERNAMA

PUTRAJAYA – The Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Tamil (SJKT) Bukit Ijok, Selangor that will be relocated in Sepang will be known as SJKT Sungai Pelek once completed in 2018, said MIC president Datuk Seri Dr S.Subramaniam .

Dr Subramaniam said once relocated, the school will see an increase in the intake of students and thus would provide an opportunity for additional teachers to be employed at SJKT Sungai Pelek.

He said SJKT Sungai Pelek would be equipped with 12 classrooms, a nursery and other facilities, including a canteen, administration office, teacher’s room, guard house, field, etc.

“Once the new building is completed, students will be able to study in a comfortable and conducive environment,” said Dr Subramaniam who is also the Health Minister after handing a cheque for RM3.5 million to the SJKT Sungai Pelek board at his office, here.

Also present were Deputy Education Minister Datuk P. Kamalanathan and Socio-Economic Development of Indian Community (SEDIC) director Prof Datuk N.S. Rajendran. – BERNAMA

PUTRAJAYA – The Malaysian Health Data Warehouse (MyHDW) connects the public, private hospitals and clinics to share a variety of information and knowledge including a patient’s medical records in a secured system, says Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam.

He said the trusted source of comprehensive healthcare system which was developed by the Health Ministry and Malaysian Institute of Microelectronic Systems in 2015, would share analysis, data and research with healthcare facilities, together with the Higher Education Ministry (Universities Hospital) and Defence Ministry (Military Hospital).

Previously, he said, the collection of health data was done manually and had created a silo nature although there was technology advancement to record health data electronically.

“The use of ICT in silo was costly and complex as a patient’s medical record could not be shared if there was a need to seek treatment at another hospital.

“Now, MyHDW will focus on detailed data collection for query and analysis purposes. It boasts a portal that enables access to a wide range of health data,” he told reporters after launching the MyHDW at his ministry here today.

For example, Dr Subramaniam said, if someone wanted to know about percentage of diabetic or cancer patients in the country, they could access to the system.

“However, the system does not give access to irrelevant groups to access on specific or isolated information regarding a patient’s health data details. Such information can only be accessed by relevant people for research and analysis purposes,” he said.

The health minister said the MyHDW system, currently at phase one, had collected data from 2.5 million inpatients from all government and public hospitals, military hospitals and daycare unit services.

The phase two would continue to collect 70 million outpatient medical record data at other healthcare facilities such as health and specialist clinics.

“The summated information will include demography, clinical and procedural intervention, and presented in aggregated form which is accessible without time and location boundaries,” noted Dr Subramaniam.

He said MyHDW would leverage on Big Data and analytics to assist in making strategic business decision, improve business efficiency, drive revenue growth as well as create new and innovative business model based on evident based practices.

“If one hospital has successfully done cardiology procedures with cost efficiency, other hospitals can follow the same procedure in order to save cost and reduce wastage of unnecessary medical expenses,” he added.- BERNAMA

PUTRAJAYA – MIC President Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam today extended best wishes on the occasion of the Tamil New Year tomorrow.

He also said that the Action Plan for the Malaysian Indian Community, to be launched this month, would ensure a better future for the community in the national transformation agenda.

The plan focused on three major aspects, namely education, entrepreneurship and the civic development of youths.

Subramaniam said the new initiative was aimed at striking a balance in the development of the Indian community to ensure that they were included in the mainstream of national development.

“I hope the Tamil New Year tomorrow will bring greater prosperity and well-being for the Indian community and more opportunities for Malaysians as a whole throughout the year.

“Use opportunities such as these to redouble efforts to give more hope to the community,” said Subramaniam, who is the Health Minister, in his New Year message. – BERNAMA

SEREMBAN – The number of tuberculosis (TB) cases in the country rose by six per cent to 25,739 in 2016 compared to 24,220 cases in 2015.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S.Subramaniam said apart from that, total TB deaths jumped 15 per cent from 1,696 in 2015 to 1,945 fatalities last year.

“The World Health Organisation (WHO) in its End TB Strategy intends to make the world TB-free by 2035 in which the incidence of TB will be reduced by 90 per cent and its mortality rate by 95 per cent.

“For our country, various efforts will be carried out to ensure Malaysia achieve the target set by WHO,” he said in a speech to celebrate 2017 World TB Day at national level in Taman Desa Rhu here today.

The text of his speech was read by his deputy Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahya. – BERNAMA