Govt, pri­vate health­care providers can ac­cess health records on sin­gle sys­tem


IN five years, the health record of ev­ery Malaysian will be avail­able in one data­base, ac­ces­si­ble to gov­ern­ment and pri­vate health­care providers.

With just a click, doc­tors can as­sess data on a pa­tient’s con­di­tion, in­clud­ing in­for­ma­tion on non-com­mu­ni­ca­ble dis­eases (NCD) such as di­a­betes, high­blood pres­sure and heart-re­lated ill­nesses.

In a press con­fer­ence yes­ter­day, Health Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Dr S. Subra­ma­niam said the sys­tem, known as the “En­hanced Pri­mary Health Care” (EnPHC), would re­sult in a more proac­tive and pre­ven­tive ap­proach to pop­u­la­tion well­ness.

“We need this to be in place within five years, or Malaysia will be­come a sickly and un­pro­duc­tive na­tion by then.”

He said the preva­lence of di­a­betes had tripled (6.3 per cent to 17.5 per cent) from 1986 to 2015, while blood choles­terol lev­els had dou­bled (23 per cent to 48 per cent) from 2006 to 2015.

“Most alarm­ing is that more than 50 per cent of these cases were not di­ag­nosed and the num­ber in­creases yearly.”

The gov­ern­ment had spent RM22.6 bil­lion in di­rect and in­di­rect ex­pen­di­ture in 2010, in­clud­ing on hos­pi­tal­i­sa­tion and med­i­ca­tion costs, to treat com­pli­ca­tions from NCDs, he said.

The test run of the ini­tia­tive would kick-start in July, in­volv­ing 300,000 pa­tients in 20 gov­ern­ment clin­ics in Se­lan­gor and Jo­hor.

“In the first phase, the pop­u­la­tion pro­fil­ing data­base will be set up based on data pro­vided by the Healthy Com­mu­nity Em­pow­ers the Na­tion pro­gramme, non­govern­men­tal or­gan­i­sa­tions and Health Clinic Ad­vi­sory Pan­els.

“With the in­for­ma­tion, health­care providers will sug­gest treat­ment ac­cord­ing to pa­tients’ health con­di­tions.”

An­other ap­proach to the move was the Fam­ily Health Teams (FHT), where pa­tients would be seen by a team led by the same doc­tor on each visit.

“This would en­able quick re­sponse and re­duce con­ges­tion and wait­ing time. A thor­ough and risk-based screen­ing will be done by FHTs to de­ter­mine the proper in­ter­ven­tion.

“A care co­or­di­na­tor will be the bridge be­tween the mul­ti­dis­ci­plinary team that will in­clude di­eti­cians, NCD ed­u­ca­tors and phys­io­ther­a­pists.”

Even­tu­ally, elec­tronic med­i­cal records would be in­tro­duced to en­able the data­base to be ac­cessed by both pri­vate and gov­ern­ment hos­pi­tals.

How­ever, Dr Subra­ma­niam said, this would in­volve high costs and man­power.

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