Is the recent dumping of unused medical items at the Penang Hospital just the tip of the iceberg to a much bigger problem of lack of supervision over procurement, use and disposal in government hospitals?
What society needs, and what consumers deserve is proactive action on the part of the government, namely the Ministry of Health, to ensure a proper monitoring system over all dealings of hospital with suppliers. It is not prudent spending for hospitals to waste taxpayers’ money to buy medical items in quantities or of types that they do not need, and then to simply discard them.
Malaysians are not drastically changing their lifestyles despite the millions spent by the Government to woo them with health campaigns. Are Malaysians lackadaisical and to be solely blamed for the ineffectiveness of the various health drives initiated, and for taxpayers’ money pumped into these campaigns going to waste?
The Government and the people should not be too shocked with the recent disclosure that more than RM500 million spent on health campaigns by the Health Ministry since the 1980s has not produced the desired lifestyle changes.
In a nutshell, what this means is that the message is either not reaching ordinary Malaysians or not having the needed impact to motivate them to transform their lives. Before we put the blame squarely on the shoulders of the people, we need to examine side-by-side the millions going into health campaigns against the advertising and patronage extended to the multinational corporations which produce the very products that are targeted.
In the first place, there are many areas of concern over the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine which is said to prevent infection against certain species of human papillomavirus associated with cervical cancer, genital warts and some less common cancers.
Many countries around the world are going slow on this vaccine because of many doubts raised.
The Consumer’s Association of Penang has repeatedly objected to the proposal and decision by the Ministry of Health (MOH) to vaccinate all 13-year-old girls in the country from the Human papillomavirus (HPV) virus, a sexually transmitted virus on the grounds that it is unnecessary, unscientific and unsafe. Despite numerous valid objections by many quarters, RM150mil is to be spent annually by the Government beginning this year on HPV vaccinations for an estimated 300,000 girls in the country as protection from only two of the 40 different cervical cancer causing HPV’s.