Media statement by Teo Nie Ching in Serdang on Thursday, 16th February 2012:
MOH, reveal 1Care details to rakyat now!
Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai's criticism of members of the public who have voiced their concerns about the 1Care healthcare plan is unwarranted and misplaced.
In a press conference three day ago, the Health Minister slammed critics, saying that "there are certain quarters trying to manipulate the situation and trying to confuse the public".
First of all, there has been a total lack of transparency on the part of the Ministry of Health in handling this matter concerning the nation's healthcare system - an issue which affects the entire population of Malaysia.
Although a national healthcare plan was first mentioned in the 4th Malaysia Plan (1981 - 1985) and rebranded in 2009 as "1Care", the fact is that, until today, the Ministry of Health has refused to disclose any details of the plan.
More inexplicably, when the Ministry was invited to clarify its stand in a forum on healthcare reform on February 12, 2012, it displayed utmost arrogance when it did not dispatch a single representative to the event.
Secondly, the Ministry's refusal to engage in dialogue and consultation, as well as its unwillingness to explore options will not improve public confidence towards 1Care Malaysia but would ultimately increase the people's anxiety and fear.
Thirdly, the 10% salary deduction figure was taken directly from the 1Care concept paper drafted by the Federation of Private Medical Practitioners' Association, Malaysia. This figure was not something plucked from thin air and concocted by critics. FPMPAM is comprised of doctors and professionals, not ordinary Joes. Is Liow Tiong Lai suggesting that they are not professional and making things up?
In actual fact, it is very easy to determine if the relevant statistics and facts floating around are true - the Ministry should just release all the relevant reports and clarify the confusion. However, is Liow willing to do so?
Liow now claims that the cost of 1Care will be borne by the Government, employers and employees, and once implemented, the plan will be mandatory for all Malaysians. Obviously, there is already a blueprint for the implementation of 1Care.
As Parliament will resume on March 12, I strongly urge Liow to organise a briefing session on 1Care in Parliament for all MPs.
* Teo Nie Ching, DAP Assistant National Publicity Secretary & MP for Serdang