Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture Alexis Tam Chon Weng said on Monday that he will keep his promise that the local health care system will be fully reformed, saying he has given the Health Bureau (SSM) one year to improve the system.
While Tam did not say what will happen if they bureau fails to improve the system, he promised to assist the bureau in reaching the goal.
Tam’s pledge came while he visited the public Conde de Sao Januario Hospital Centre on Monday, saying he understood that the system has its flaws and was yet to be on par with international standards, adding that he also understood the challenges faced by hospital staff.
“I’ll give [the Health Bureau] one year… I feel that a solid health care system should be in place in one year so the situation where doctors who have been in the profession for 10 to 20 years but don’t have the chance for specialist training will be changed. We need to have a new system which meets international standards,” said Tam.
Tam added that the bureau was expected to hire 529 additional health professionals this year. He also said a mobile phone application will be available in the coming months to show the waiting times in public health centres.
SSM Director Lei Chin Ion said his bureau would follow Tam’s directive, adding it would be done no matter how tough the challenges he and his team face. He also said the hiring process for health professionals would be simplified and the bureau would allocate existing staff to where they are needed if it can’t hire enough new ones in the short term.
Meanwhile, talking during Monday’s meeting of the government-appointed Medical Affairs Council at the Tourism Activities Centre (CAT) in Zape, Tam said that he would make the operation of the heath care system more transparent. He also said he would continue to gather public opinion on how to improve the city’s health system through open and transparent methods.
During the meeting, Tam also said that he would invite retired public health professionals and retired senior officials of the Health Bureau (SSM) to present their views on the public health system, adding that the public ought to play an active role in suggesting how public money should be spent on the public health system.
Tam also said that 80 to 90 percent of health professionals’ complaints concerned “bad hospital management.” He also said that Macau “has much money” because of which it “is difficult to explain to people why Macau doesn’t have a good health system. (macaunews/macaupost)