The full extent of COVID-19’s impact on our health system and people with NCDs remains to be seen. However, there is clear evidence of its disruption to other areas of healthcare as well as its disproportionately harmful effects on people with NCDs. The 2019 NHMS report is a wake-up call for Malaysians to take urgent action for our own future health. As such, the government must refocus our health system and develop health policies to address both COVID-19 and NCD care in the immediate future.
COVID-19 has shown that Malaysians don't change behaviours through raising awareness and knowledge - despite the numerous health messaging, advisories by the Government and the Senior Minister (Security Cluster) and constant pleading by the Director-General of Health Malaysia in his daily press briefings. We needed to create policies (i.e. SOPs) and strictly enforce those SOPs to achieve behavioural change.