IPOH, Dec 16 — Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad is not worried about losing votes in next year’s Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) elections following his announcement to ban smoking in open-air eateries.

The National Amanah Leadership Committee strategic director said he would not change his stand although it was “not popular”.

“A friend told me that I won’t get their votes at next year’s party elections … it’s okay. I’d rather lose than compromise on people’s health,” he said during the winding-up session of the Amanah National Convention 2018 here today.

Dr Dzulkefly, who is the Kuala Selangor MP, said his aim was to improve the health services in the country.

“Statistics show we now have one doctor for every 630 people, but for a government which prioritises its economy, it should be one doctor for every 430 people.

“With a ratio of just 1.9 beds to every 1,000 people, we are still far from fulfilling the necessary health facilities, number of hospitals and so on,” he said. — Bernama