Cut Waste? Who Is Wasting Resources?

By Masterwordsmith

Undeniably, health care, an important social service provided by the government for citizens, must be easy, accessible, adequate in supply and affordable to the masses. Yet, our country has yet to draft and to implement a National Health Policy for the rakyat.

After reading this report, I am compelled to cut to the chase the talk about cutting waste at government hospitals.

Despite soaring health care costs, the Health Ministry has found that a substantial amount of medicine dispensed by government hospitals goes unused or expired.

According to the report, Datuk Eisah A. Rahman, the ministry’s senior director of pharmaceutical services, the medicine returned to the pharmacy at various hospitals for the first half of the year was:

  • RM128,818 at Kuala Lumpur Hospital

  • RM82,436 at Sarawak General Hospital

  • RM27,899 at Seberang Jaya Hospital in Penang

  • RM53,769 at Tuanku Fauziah Hospital in Perlis

  • RM190,616 at Tuanku Ja’afar Hospital in Seremban

  • A TOTAL OF RM483 538 from just FIVE HOSPITALS!!!

The ministry is collating data from the other government hospitals. Eisah said the current figures alone reflect the amount of medicine wasted adding that it would be a substantial amount for all the hospitals.

There are 135 hospitals in the country with the ministry spending RM1.6bil on medicine in 2010, an increase of 14.48% from the previous year.

Whilst I applaud Datuk Eisah A. Rahman’s courage in making this disclosure, I am quite aghast that it is only now that the public know about this wastage. Why did it take so long for the ministry to take the bull by its horns by implementing the “return medication programme” only last year?

It is most worrying that one reason behind the campaign was to help reduce the possibility of the prescription drugs being misused by others.

Isn’t there some sort of stock check system whereby the relevant staff can ensure there is no wastage or misuse? Surely there exists some sort of recording system for the medical supplies and that orders must only be made and approved when existing supplies are about to be exhausted. Does this report reveal more than meets the eye?

One wonders about the size of the cumulative figure for the whole country in ONE year and for the last TEN years. And also, to compare the figures for this wastage per year and assess its proportion in relation in the total expenditure. It is important that the Minister of Health explain how he is going to handle this situation to ensure history is not repeated! More importantly, that the rakyat’s money is used prudently FOR THE RAKYAT and NOT for illegals!!!

Who will take responsibility for the state of affairs? What measure will be implemented to avoid such wastage? And, who is the one wasting resources?

What on earth is happening to Health Care in Malaysia? For sure, a major restructuring is needed especially in: