GEORGE TOWN: Gerakan has demanded a public apology from ‘Nature’ over what it alleged was a “one-sided” article published on the scientific journal’s website, implying that Malaysia lacked state healthcare
Gerakan national deputy president Oh Tong Keong, in condemning the report, demanded that Nature apologises to Malaysia immediately.
Oh, who is also state Gerakan chairman, said it was widely known that Malaysia’s healthcare was among the best in Southeast Asia and the whole of Asia
He said that charges imposed by government hospitals were also the lowest in the world.
“Despite providing the highest level of medical services, government hospitals only charge our people a mere RM1, and for those above the age of 60, it is free.
“This rate has never been increased since independence,” he said, adding that government hospital and surgery charges were also very much cheaper compared to private hospitals.
He said it was shocking that a scientific journal like Nature had published such an irresponsible and confusing report.
The article – ‘The scientist-gardener who is harnessing tobacco’s power to heal’ – quoting London-based molecular immunologist Audrey Teh – who claimed to be a Malaysian, had alleged that the country did not have state healthcare and “families are bankrupted by medical bills.”
Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah has dismissed it as “incorrect and a gross misrepresentation of the national health system.”
He noted that the World Health Organisation (WHO) continues to acknowledge Malaysia as providing quality health care services based on its high performing health care system and well-trained workforce.
Oh said Malaysia’s healthcare system had also earned numerous international accolades as among the best in the world.
“As such, Gerakan supports Dr Noor Hisham’s action to write to the Chief Editor of Nature to reject the contents of the article.
“The author and the editor should have verified the facts before publishing any comments,” he added.