Global Health Asia-Pacific Special Issue | Page 55

staff members under IHH Malaysia where they could be attended to by our psychiatry professionals who provided tips on mental relief . We also conducted mental health assessments anonymously and periodically to avoid stigmatising staff members .
We carried out the assessment using the DASS- 21 form , where the results are interpreted by our resident psychologists and psychiatrist followed by an interview session with the staff who filled out the form . This is followed by a report summarising the team ’ s stress levels , which determines follow-up interventions by the psychologists . For example , if it ’ s determined that staff are presenting with high-stress levels , they will further interact with our psychiatry team until their stress level is reduced .
Hoo Ling Lee
days of the pandemic is the public-private partnership ( PPP ) initiative , which illustrates the significance of cooperation between public and private hospitals . The PPP consists of two models . The patient model occurred during the pandemic when public hospitals handled COVID patients while non-COVID patients were transferred to private hospitals . The non-COVID patients , specifically those with heart , gastrointestinal conditions , and those needing general surgery included those that required dialysis and children .
The second model is the doctor and equipment model , which involves public hospital doctors bringing patients to private hospitals and utilising their medical equipment for treatment . One example is collaboration where general doctors were trained in handling gamma knife equipment for cancer treatment and then applied it to treating patients at zero cost at seven hospitals in IHH Malaysia . This is crucial as the even distribution of patients reduces waiting times in public hospitals and maximises the usage of medical equipment in the private sector .
The pandemic has also prompted us to emphasise mental health care more . While Gleneagles was able to avoid the full brunt of the pandemic , resulting in low infectivity rates and cases among its workforce , we did not anticipate its effects on their mental health . As a result , we opened a hotline accessible to all
Q : Now that Malaysia is governed by a new administration , what recommendations would you propose for enhancing the healthcare system ? Hoo Ling Lee : Despite the recent national budget not mentioning on PPP initiatives , I am satisfied there is a signification financial allocation to improve the infrastructure facilities of public hospitals and clinics . Specifically , RM1.8 billion ( about US $ 414 million ) will be spent on construction of hospitals , clinics , and medical equipment procurement .
I am also proud that Budget 2023 also touched on mental health , which has generally been destigmatised due to COVID , by announcing the establishment of a National Mental Health Centre of Excellence to coordinate surveillance , research , and implementation of mental health programmes . Given the continuing trend of local medical professionals seeking healthcare workers employment abroad and the increasing bed capacity in which a total of 1,500 additional beds at private hospitals is expected by 2025 , we will need to focus on recruiting more nurses .
Q : How is the current system making hiring foreign doctors much easier ? Hoo Ling Lee : APHM has advocated for a more comprehensive review of the hiring process to significantly improve turnaround time . The applications for the Annual Practicing Certificate ( APC ), a local practising certificate , and the National Specialist Registry ( NSR ) required for medical professionals to practise their medical discipline have been made significantly more straightforward .
Q . Malaysia has recently opened up to tourists , lifting almost all COVID-19 restrictions . Since then , have you seen a robust rebound in the confidence and numbers of health travellers seeking care in Malaysia ? In your opinion , what are the sector ’ s long-term prospects in the country ? Bryan Lin : We are delighted that the borders opened on April 1 . Since then , we ’ ve seen double-digit growth for health tourists in our hospital and are optimistic that the health tourism industry will continue to grow
GlobalHealthAsiaPacific . com ISSUE 6 | 2022