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Malaysia To Test Ability To Contain Influenza Pandemic

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  • Malaysia To Test Ability To Contain Influenza Pandemic


    April 06, 2009 22:03 PM

    Malaysia To Test Ability To Contain Influenza Pandemic

    PUTRAJAYA, April 6 (Bernama) -- The health ministry, with support from World Health Organisation (WHO)'s Western Pacific Regional Office in Manila, is conducting a joint rapid containment exercise in Kuala Lumpur for two days, beginning Monday.

    Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Mohd Ismail Merican said the exercise, 'Panstop III 2009', would focus on Malaysia's ability to respond swiftly to the early signs of an influenza pandemic.

    He said the scope of the exercise was to implement measures related to rapid containment, including decision-making, coordination, communication, social and economic disruptions, risk assessment for rapid containment, mobilisation of national, among others.

    Dr Mohd Ismail said the on the first day of Panstop III 2009, a modified functional exercise would be conducted, and participants from WHO and the ministry would engage in exercises aimed at testing the decision-making processes at the highest possible level.

    On the second day, he said, participants from the ministry, relevant ministries and agencies, as well as WHO representatives would be involved in a Table-Top Exercise with the objective of testing the operational feasibility and the operational capacity of Malaysia to conduct a rapid containment operation based on their pre-determined roles and functions.

    Observers from Brunei, Singapore, Thailand, Japanese Embassy, New Zealand High Commission, United States Embassy and Asean Secreatariat based in Jakarta, have been invited to attend the exercise, among others.

    Dr Mohd Ismail said rapid containment was designed to initiate extraordinary measures to stop the spread of pandemic influenza when it was initially detected and before the virus was able to spread more widely.

    He said, although rapid containment might not be successful in containing the virus to its immediate outbreak area, it could delay its international spread and thereby, allow other countries more time to prepare.

    Meanwhile, WHO Regional Adviser Dr Takeshi Kasai said the overall report on the exercise would be completed in a month or two and would be given to the ministry for further action.

    -- BERNAMA

  • #2
    Re: Malaysia To Test Ability To Contain Influenza Pandemic

    Govt to rope in more private doctors


    KUALA LUMPUR: Private doctors are encouraged to volunteer for "national service" to ease the shortage of doctors in government hospitals.

    With a 50 per cent shortfall of doctors in pubic hospitals, the Health Ministry is scrambling to fill the vacancies.

    There are about 15,000 doctors in public service, making up a 53 per cent operating capacity at the 130 government hospitals nationwide. This figure includes those who have taken study leave or serving in housemanship, meaning there are in reality fewer doctors on active duty.

    Comparatively, there are about 10,000 doctors in the private sector, an abundant human resource that Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai wants to tap.

    He noted that if Malaysia were to take into account the number of private doctors, the country's present doctor to population ratio stood at 1:1,145, not far from the benchmark of 1:600 in developed nations. He projected Malaysia would reach the benchmark in 2015, but stressed the need to reach out to doctors in the private sector if the country intended to fully harness that potential.
    Liow said his ministry had set up a central committee, chaired by himself, to work out a mechanism to get more doctors into the civil service.

    He said there were many private doctors who had volunteered for national service, so the onus was on the government to get them to do so.

    "We need to open an avenue where doctors in private practice can voluntarily come aboard. They have performed their national service in the first three years of their careers, but we encourage them to do more," he said after witnessing the MS ISO-9001:2000 accreditation of Tung Shin Hospital here yesterday.
    ďThe only security we have is our ability to adapt."