KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 20 — The number of ministers appointed as co-chairs on the Board of Directors of the Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC) has been reduced under the Unity Government administration, Health Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa said.

She said the previous administration had appointed the Health Minister, Minister of Economy and the Finance Minister to the MHTC Board.

“To me, having the minister from the Health Ministry (MOH) and the Minister of Economy is good because MOH not only plays a role in the operations of public health services but also contributes to the economic aspects of the country.

“Of course, it is appropriate to have the Economy Minister (as joint chairman in MHTC), (and) there are no issues if there is no MOTAC (Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry) Minister... (as) we constantly engage with MOTAC,” she said.


Dr Zaliha said this during the debate on the Supply Bill 2024 at the committee level for MOH at the Dewan Rakyat today.

Earlier, during the debate session, Datuk Dr. Zulkafperi Hanapi (PN-Tanjong Karang) raised the significance of Dr. Zaliha and Rafizi Ramli’s appointments to the Board of Directors of MHTC and also questioned why Tourism, Arts, and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing was not.

Meanwhile, on the shortage of nurses, Dr. Zaliha said the Unity Government is making every effort to address the issue, including taking steps to absorb almost all nursing graduates from MOH’s training institutes into permanent positions in all MOH facilities.


She said the Malaysian Nursing Board has been asked to reduce qualification requirements and provide an additional six-month period for graduates who do not meet the qualifications for nursing.

“This is what the Unity Government is doing to solve problems. We are not just talking about the causes of the problem but seeking solutions. Each matter also needs to be studied first, and not just provide answers,” she said.

The Dewan Rakyat then approved the management and development expenditure estimate totaling RM41.22 billion allocated to MOH in Budget 2024. — Bernama