Malaysia is launching an innovative approach to providing medical care to every patient’s doorstep.
According to Malaysia’s health ministry director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, the country is developing an advanced medical system where more patients would have the option to book their physicians for a house visit in a similar way one hails an Uber ride.
Datuk Dr Noor Hisham says that these doctors would provide various services such as check-ups, immunisations, chemotherapy and simple surgical operations.
His ultimate aim is to break barriers in Malaysia’s healthcare system, starting with empowering patients with their choice of treatment options that would avoid long waits in crowded clinics and hospitals.
He talks about the ministry’s new framework where many more patients would not have to go to clinics and hospitals for all medical needs. Instead, doctors would do house calls to provide a wider variety of basic medical care along with treatments and procedures commonly done in health facilities.
House calls, explains the minister, are not a new practice. Current forms of domiciliary care include post-natal nurses checking on mothers and newborns, and doctors monitoring stroke patients’ responses to treatment. For VVIPs, home care can extend to wound-dressing, obtaining blood samples, immunisations and chemotherapy.
However, Datuk Dr Noor Hisham points out that technology can enable an innovative system where house calls would be the norm to patients from all backgrounds.
He cites the app Doctor2U which can provide patients in Malaysia a doctor at their doorstep within an hour as well as video consultations, medication delivery and ambulance services.
In the future, the health director anticipates that patients may first go online or use their social media to find out about their health conditions, and only then seek a doctors’ diagnosis.
Currently, home evaluations are available for certain diseases such as dengue, HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C, and typhoid.