Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Public Forum


The Government's recent pronouncements on both our water service system and our public health care system has left many unanswered questions. Early last year, the government announced a new health financing scheme, calling it the National Healthcare Fund. The Coalition Against Healthcare Privatisation comprising 82 organisations in Malaysia have been pursuing adialogue with the Ministry of Health and to date the coalition does not know exactly how the health financing scheme is going to take place. Information has been sparse at best and there is growing concern that this "Fund" will have far-reaching effects on the way health care is managed and delivered in Malaysia. To add to our concern, the Health Minister flatly denied any knowledge of the apointment of a consultant for the proposed scheme. At the same time certain government hospitals have already started their own small "private wings". Meanwhile The Coalition Against Water Privatisation (CAWP) has been urging the Government for a more tranparent and accountable public management of our water system. The goverment is proposing two water related bills i.e. The Water Services Industry Bill 2005 and The Suruhanjaya Perkhidmatan AirNegar a Bill 2005. These two bills, not only do not guarantee that thewater services will not be privatised in the future, instead will paveway for steps to privatise water services.
The right to water and the right to an adequate and affordable healthcare system are our basic rights which must be guaranteed by the State. Efforts at privatisation of such fundamental issues will without doubt affect us all, more so those from the lower income group. The lack of information and transparency surrounding these efforts have caused added hardship for citizens who want to have a say in matters that directly impact their lives. The recently established Freedom of Information Coalition, a grouping of NGOs and individuals hopes to raise awareness among Malaysians our our right to know, our right toinformation and our right to public participation! As such The Coalition Against Water Privatisation, The Coalition against Healthcare Privatisation and The Freedom of Information Coalition wouldlike to invite you to attend a public forum which will discuss and examine these issues.
The details are as follows:
TIME:7:45PM - 10:00PM
For registration and further inquiries you may contact:
Cynthia Gabriel: 012 379 2189 -
Latheefa Koya: 012 3842 972

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