Dr Zaliha open to advice from Khairy, Dzulkefly

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Newly appointed Health Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa said she is open to any advice, suggestions and guidance from former health ministers who could serve as references for her in running the Health Ministry.

As the first woman minister of the Ministry of Health, Dr Zaliha admitted that her biggest challenge after her appointment was to continue the ministry’s excellent work while strengthening the country’s health sector in general.

“I am very open to any kind of help in terms of suggestions or opinions on things that ministers have done before that have come out with policies or anything else,” she said.

Bernama

“But as usual, as a new minister, I will get a briefing from the Health Ministry officials and I will see which policies we can adopt, which ones need to be improved upon or which ones we should reject,” she told reporters at the ministry today.

Dr Zaliha also expressed enthusiasm and described her appointment as a recognition of raising the dignity of women as policymakers, especially in the field of health.

The Sekijang member of parliament, who has experience as a family health doctor, said she would focus on improving policies and health services for women and children.

Dr Zaliha, who is also who is also Sekijang MP, said she was fully aware of the importance of her ministry in the eyes of the general public.

“At the end of the day, what we want is the best for the people and I am aware that this ministry gets the attention of the public attention because health is a basic need of the people,” she said.

Dr Zaliha said that her previous experience as political secretary to former Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail would help her in her work as a minister.

In a tweet Saturday (Dec 3), Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad, who is also the Kuala Selangor MP, said his predecessor Khairy Jamaluddin had contacted him via WhatsApp to express his disappointment that he was overlooked for the post.

“No qualms not in Cabinet, so long l could help get Health Reform done,” he wrote in his post.

Tagging Khairy in his tweet, Dr Dzulkefly said Khairy had messaged him to say he had wanted Dzulkefly back as the health minister.

Dr Dzulkefly said he replied that he was a perpetual optimist.

Khairy then stated his intention of working together with Dr Dzulkefly to help guide the new Health Minister.

“I said, yes!” Dr Dzulkefly said to Khairy’s proposal to help Dr Zaliha.