17/09/2019 06:31 PM

PUTRAJAYA, Sept 17 -- All healthcare system stakeholders including patients, policymakers and professional bodies must speak up for patient safety and voice out concerns on unsafe practices and environment as well as hazards in healthcare facilities, said Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad.

He said patients needed to be empowered to speak up and question healthcare staff over doubts or concerns regarding the treatment given or the practice of healthcare staff, while the healthcare staff must be willing to listen to patients' suggestions and take action accordingly.

"Studies show that speaking up has an immediate preventive effect on human errors and can also help improve technical and system deficiencies as well as to prevent adverse events," he told reporters after launching the first World Patient Safety Day in Malaysia and 2019 Patient Safety Seminar, here today.

Dr Dzulkefly said the six highest patient safety incidents in Malaysia from 2016-2018 were wrong surgery, unintended retention of foreign body, transfusion error, medication error, adult patient falls and paediatric patient falls.

Wrong surgery incidents saw an increase in 2018 with 11 cases from five in 2017, adult patient falls increased to 3,547 last year from 2,934 in 2017, while transfusion errors recorded 47 cases last year from 35 in 2017.

This, he said showed that patient safety was crucial and critical, adding that the government was trying to promote value-based healthcare which emphasised on the outcome of patient safety, patient experience and patient expectation.

He said the Health Ministry had undertaken numerous initiatives to improve patient safety including the establishment of Patient Safety Council in 2003 to lead patient safety improvement efforts nationally and the introduction of Malaysian Patient Safety Goals in 2013 to outline key priority areas for patient safety and at the same time benchmark patient safety performance.

As a symbol of global solidarity in making patient safety a global priority, Dr Dzulkefly said KL Tower Management collaborated with Health Ministry to lit up the tower with orange lighting tonight along with the Three Pyramids of Giza in Cairo and the Jet d'Eau Fountain in Geneva.

Meanwhile, Dr Dzulkefly who is also Amanah strategic director said Pakatan Harapan should not be upset over the cooperation between UMNO and PAS as the strength of the ruling coalition is its ability to manage the racial, religious and cultural differences.

"The government will continue to carry Shared Prosperity, turn around the economy, create jobs for youths as well as the effort and mission to create a community which could handle various gaps among the people,” he said.

Last Saturday, UMNO and PAS signed a political cooperation charter (National Consensus Charter) and the move marked the start of political collaboration between the two opposition parties.

Dr Dzulkefly said forming a political coalition with a mono-ethnic and mono-religious construct would be difficult for the new Malaysia with a mixed demography.

 "I am not saying they would do so, but if they (UMNO-PAS) take the approach of right-wing extremism, if they take the agenda, it would be difficult for the New Malaysia to accept (this type of ) political construct,” he said.


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