Lately, the media bombarded with reports that a conglomerate Sime Darby Berhad have made a proposal to acquire 51% stake in the IJN. This unpopular proposal has taken aback public who are concerned about a quality cardiac medical care in Malaysia.
According to the government source, the government intent to privatize IJN in order to be less burdened by the high cost of subsidizing treatment at the institute.
The public outcry is the National Heart Institute (IJN) should not be privatized as it provides health care for many cardiac patients who can’t afford it in private medical centers.
Tan Sri Dr. Yahya Awang, who was the head of a team which performed a coronary bypass operation on then prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad at the Kuala Lumpur Hospital, vouched that IJN was never meant to be a commercial institute.
According to Tan Sri Dr Yahya, who was a pioneer directly involved in the setting up of the hospital in 1990, explained that besides providing quality health care , IJN was also build to serve as a center of research, a premier academic institute.
So, it is clear that the IJN was build by government fund to provide good and quality health care to public, particularly to the poor and middle income group.
Considering the loud public outcry against the IJN privatization proposal , deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak promptly announced that the deal had been postponed until an indepth review was undertaken. Najib's announcement has relieved the anxiety and unhappiness it has caused among the concerned public.
Government deferment to conduct an indepth study is welcomed by many medical enthusiast of quality medical care.
Health is a service which is considered as a major social responsibilities of a government to public who elected them to office. So, IJN being providing an excellent and quality medical care for cardio dieses was the only choice for many middle income group.
The public grievances and opinion must be heard and sought by the Government at all times in order to remain relevant. Government by the people and for the people shall always heed to the public opinion regards to providing the essential service to the public, particularly the medical care.
Hence, the idea of privatization of IJN is not only a good move by the government at the moment but also in the future.
Dato’ Seri Anwar says that the deferment is a political move due to the upcoming Kuala Terenganu by election.But, will the government has the political will and courage to discard the idea of IJN privatization in order to prove him wrong?