Health technology assessment in Malaysia.

TitleHealth technology assessment in Malaysia.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsSivalal S
JournalInternational journal of technology assessment in health care
Volume25 Suppl 1
Date Published2009 Jul
KeywordsDelivery of health Care; History, 20th Century; History, 21st Century; Malaysia; Program Development; Technology Assessment, Biomedical
AbstractOBJECTIVES: Malaysia, as a rapidly developing country, has been facing tremendous pressures in its attempts to maximize scarce resources. Despite this problem, Malaysia has made great strides in developing its health services, and has successfully provided good access to the population to healthcare services, reduced the incidence of many communicable diseases, and improved life expectancies and other global indices of health care, some of which are comparable to that of developed countries. METHODS: The Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Unit was set up in Malaysia in August 1995 in the Ministry of Health Malaysia and has since grown tremendously in size and resources. To date, forty-three in-depth assessments have been carried out, and the recommendations of these assessments were subsequently implemented. In addition, approximately 140 rapid assessment reports were produced in response to requests from policy and decision makers. HTA has been able to provide input into formulation of national and Ministry of Health Malaysia policies, and provide a basis for clinical practice guidelines development, input into purchasing decisions, regulation of drugs, as well as advertisements related to health. RESULTS: A major challenge is sustainability of the program, to be able to have trained personnel competent to take on the demanding tasks of assessments and the sustained efforts that are required. In addition, there need to be constant efforts to create awareness of the utility of HTA so that its services are used and its full potential realized. The scope of services may also need to be expanded to include an early warning system. CONCLUSIONS: Malaysia has successfully implemented a health technology program that has had major impact on policy formulation and decision making at various levels. Challenges may be faced in sustaining and developing the program further.
Alternate JournalInt J Technol Assess Health Care