Managing chronic diseases in the Malaysian primary health care – a need for change
AbstractChronic diseases are the major cause of death and disability in Malaysia, accounted for 71% of all deaths and 69% of thetotal burden of disease. The WHO in its report Preventing Chronic Disease: A Vital Investment has highlighted the inaction ofmost governments of the low and middle income countries in tackling the problem urgently, is clear and unacceptable. Theacute care paradigm is no longer adequate for the changing pattern of diseases in today’s and tomorrow’s world. An evolutionof primary health care system beyond the acute care model to embrace the concept of caring for long term health problemsis imperative in the wake of the rising epidemic of chronic diseases and its crushing burden resulting in escalating healthcarecosts. Compelling evidence from around the world showed that there are innovative and cost-effective community-basedinterventions to reduce the morbidity and mortality attributable to chronic diseases, but these are rarely translated into highquality population-wide chronic disease care. This paper describes the current situation of chronic disease management inthe Malaysian primary care setting – to highlight the need for change, discuss the barriers to the implementation of effectivechronic disease management programmes in the community, and consider fundamental solutions needed to instigate thechange in our setting.
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