The coalition, in a statement signed by 45 associations and 18 individuals from the health industry, demanded that the government uses its power responsibly and effectively to protect the people.
Among the signees were Befrienders Kuala Lumpur, Association of Private Hospitals Malaysia, Lung Cancer Network of Malaysia, Malaysian Society of Intensive Care, Public Health Malaysia, and Ikram Health.
The coalition said its first demand was for the government to stop politicising Malaysia’s health services and health professionals on the frontline.
“While MCO can be one part of the Covid-19 response strategy, we do not support it as the main policy response, and do not accept any politicisation of the health system,” it said.
The next demand is for the government to prepare a long-term plan to manage Covid-19 while allowing economic and public life to safely continue.
It noted that the coronavirus will be a multi-year pandemic even with the arrival of vaccines.
“This includes engaging and collaborating with professional societies, private sector stakeholders, non-governmental bodies, and citizens.”
It hoped that any decision by the independent advisory panel formed for national Covid-19 management should be transparent and regularly engage health experts.
The coalition also raised the fearful possibility of a surge in suicide cases as what happened during the first MCO. Hence, its third demand was for the government to provide people with financial and mental health support during this MCO.
“The economic impact of MCO 2.0 will be more severe.
“We fear that calls to suicide prevention and domestic violence hotlines will spike as they did during the first MCO.
“The government must provide adequate resources to support all vulnerable residents of Malaysia,” the statement read.
The floods in several states, it said, impacted healthcare delivery and the public’s ability to safely self-isolate.
Meanwhile, Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) president Dr Subramaniam Muniandy urged the Health Ministry to work with private healthcare to take over non-Covid-19 cases, so that public hospitals could focus on managing Covid-19 cases.
“The increasing patient load of Covid-19 cases at government hospitals may also affect the system and management of non-Covid-19 patients.
“The outsourcing of healthcare services such as non-communicable disease (NCD) management to general practitioners and cancer treatment to private hospitals will allow public hospitals to focus their resources on managing Covid-19,” Subramaniam said in a statement.
He said the whole country will pay a heavy price if just one person lets their guard down and urged everyone to cooperate. MKINI