Embracing system-wide reforms for equitable, sustainable well being companies by way of strengthening major well being care supply and enhanced governance in Malaysia

Since gaining independence, Malaysia has made strides in healthcare, attaining broad protection and commendable well being outcomes. Nonetheless, the previous twenty years have launched new challenges similar to urbanization, life-style adjustments, an getting older inhabitants, and rising earnings disparities, all of which have exerted vital stress on the healthcare system. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic additional uncovered these vulnerabilities. In response, the World Well being Group (WHO) has lent its technical experience to assist the Malaysian authorities in crafting the Well being White Paper (HWP), a doc that proposes complete healthcare reforms for the following fifteen years.[1] The HWP goals to enhance preventive companies, assure equitable healthcare entry by strengthening major well being care, improve resilience in opposition to rising well being threats, and encourage the event of modern well being ecosystems. In 2023, the approval of the HWP by the Malaysian Parliament represented a pivotal step within the nation’s well being reform journey, showcasing Malaysia’s robust dedication to well being coverage reforms.[2] Initiatives have been set in movement by way of the formation of working teams targeted on bolstering major healthcare, refining well being financing, and facilitating multisectoral collaboration. These reforms are in concord with the objectives of the GPW 13 and the pursuit of common well being care (UHC) entry, underscoring Malaysia’s dedication to advancing its healthcare system to satisfy up to date challenges.

Key WHO Contributions

  • Collaborated intently with Malaysia’s Ministry of Well being to develop the Well being White Paper by providing high-level recommendation and strategic steering on healthcare reforms.
  • Shared related experiences from different international locations in planning and executing profitable well being reforms.
  • Facilitated dialogues throughout totally different sectors, serving to to crystalize the coverage framework of the HWP.
  • Collaborated with Malaysia’s Ministry of Well being to create a complete communication technique. This included forming a technical working group to supervise strategic communications and public engagement.
  • Established/led/participated an unbiased monitoring physique to supervise the implementation technique of the well being reforms.

How did Malaysia, with the assist of WHO, obtain this?

The Ministry of Well being (MoH) in Malaysia initiated a big well being reform by main the creation of the Well being White Paper (HWP), in collaboration with a wide selection of stakeholders together with ministries, companies, the personal sector, and civil society organizations. This initiative was grounded in a complete analysis of current well being system research, coverage paperwork, and worldwide benchmarks, establishing a stable base for the proposed reforms.

WHO was pivotal from the outset, offering strategic steering on healthcare reforms, conducting a situational evaluation of Malaysia’s well being system, and contributing to the HWP’s growth. This partnership capitalized on WHO’s in depth expertise in international well being reforms, affording the MoH entry to a wealth of related insights and greatest practices. Moreover, WHO performed a vital function in orchestrating multisectoral dialogues amongst a wide selection of stakeholders, essential for tailoring the HWP’s coverage framework to be inclusive, mirror Malaysia’s distinctive wants, and align with worldwide requirements.

“The event of the paper obtained recommendation and technical enter from the Well being White Paper Advisory Council and consultants from the World Well being Organisation.”

– Dr Zaliha Mustafa, former Malaysian Minister of Well being

The HWP outlines formidable reforms throughout Malaysia’s healthcare system, specializing in delivering high-quality, equitable, and sustainable care. It highlights the enhancement of major healthcare and community-based companies, backed by a reliable workforce, and requires multi-sectoral collaboration to advance preventive and promotive well being companies, with a particular emphasis on youth engagement in well being consciousness.

A workforce of well being staff present well being care at a distant clinic in Marudi, Malaysia.
Photograph credit score: WHO

Key objectives of the HWP embrace guaranteeing equitable healthcare entry, selling a patient-centric mannequin, constructing a resilient well being system prepared for future challenges, incorporating modern well being options, and growing a well being system that earns public belief. The doc underscores the significance of creating healthcare extra inexpensive and accessible, aiming to create a proactive well being system outfitted to handle future well being wants.

In 2023, the HWP obtained bipartisan approval from the Malaysian Parliament, a big milestone within the nation’s healthcare transformation journey. This approval triggered a sequence of complete coverage reforms targeted on enhancing knowledge methods for knowledgeable decision-making and strengthening major healthcare facilities, thus adopting a holistic method to well being enchancment.

In response, WHO and Malaysia’s MoH developed a Strategic Communication Plan to advertise widespread acceptance of the HWP. A technical working group, leveraging WHO’s experience, was established to spice up public consciousness and garner stakeholder assist for the HWP. This concerned frequently sharing insights into the general public’s healthcare expectations by way of media monitoring, social listening, and sentiment evaluation; focused communications to handle public considerations and foster HWP acceptance; and securing backing from a various set of stakeholders, together with these each inside and exterior to the Ministry of Well being, similar to personal healthcare service suppliers, shopper associations, lecturers, NGOs, worldwide organizations, parliament members, and allied well being associations.

An unbiased monitoring physique will oversee, analyze, and report on the well being reform implementation for steady enchancment and adaptation, providing vital suggestions. Anticipated coverage adjustments are directed in the direction of bettering decision-support knowledge methods and bolstering major healthcare facilities (PHC). WHO continues to work intently with the MoH because the implementation of reforms advances. Furthermore, the Malaysian Authorities has introduced a coverage resolution to extend healthcare financing in step with the HWP’s reforms.

This collaboration between Malaysia and WHO serves as a mannequin for profitable well being governance partnership. By exchanging experience and facilitating multisectoral discussions, WHO has been instrumental in steering Malaysia in the direction of a well being system that not solely meets present wants however can also be ready for future challenges, highlighting Malaysia’s dedication to securing a more healthy future for all its residents.




  1. Malaysia Ministry of Well being. Well being White Paper for Malaysia [report]. Well being White Paper for Malaysia, accessed 20 February 2024.
  2. United States of America Division of Commerce. Malaysia Healthcare Authorities Plan [news]. Malaysia Healthcare Authorities Plan, accessed 20 February 2024.


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