UK & Malaysia: Healthcare News Summary (3rd July)

Note: A hyperlink is attached in each headlines for further reading of the original news.

Table of Contents:

1. United Kingdom News 2. Malaysia News

1. United Kingdom News

Headline: White paper aims to accelerate cannabis integration into UK healthcare

Date: 2nd July 2020

Source: Health Europa

Monthly Visitors: 222,570


  • Cannabis field experts published a white paper explaining how to maximise clinical research and improve British patient's access to medical cannabis.

  • The White Paper is entitled: "Medical Cannabis in the UK: From Principle to Practice".

  • The White Paper suggests solutions for healthcare workers to prescribe medical cannabis and for regulators to respond to the demand for access of cannabis.

  • The White Paper also highlights the current barriers when prescribing medical cannabis in the UK.

  • Currently, cannabis remains inaccessible to patients who are proven that will benefit from the drug.

  • The NHS' access to cannabis prescriptions remains limited - only 400 prescriptions have been given.

  • The main barrier of access to medical cannabis is education - doctors are not trained in cannabis and the endocannabinoid system.

  • This education issue is currently addressed by conducting Drug Science teaching sessions at the Academy of Medical Cannabis and the Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society.

  • Another barrier is the negative guidelines produced by NICE, which results allowing doctors to prescribe cannabis only in exceptional circumstances.

  • Using cannabis helps to save money on expensive medicines such as opioids and decrease the number of people admitted to hospitals for health conditions.

  • Visit to read the SageJournal of Psychopharmacology to read the White Paper.

Headline: Medical experts: UK should 'prepare for the worst' this winter

Date: 1st June 2020

Source: The National

Monthly Visitors: 263,910


  • The UK must prepare for the winter instead of developing a successful COVID-19 vaccine, experts say.

  • Sir John Bell (Professor of Medicine, Oxford University) stated that the UK has relied too much on false assumptions throughout the COVID-19 outbreak.

  • There might be chaos in hospitals if the UK sees an increase in COVID-19 outbreak this winter, alongside a serious flu season.

  • Clinical staff in hospitals should worry because there will be a significant flu season.

  • There will be people with severe pneumonias and fever and the usual things.

  • Bell explains the best action is to encourage more people to get flu vaccines, and then push to make sure people compliantly participate in flu vaccine programmes.

  • Kate Bingham (Chairwoman, UK's Vaccine Taskforce) is optimistic that a vaccine can be developed in the short-term.

  • However, Bingham elaborates that the earliest vaccine available will only be due towards the beginning of next year if clinical trials are successful.

  • Sarah Gilbert (Professor of Vaccinology, University of Oxford) who leads the vaccine trial states that she is unable to tell when the vaccine will be ready.


Date: 1st June 2020

Source: Insider Media

Monthly Visitors: 79,740


  • Optimum Medical (OM) secured a 6-figure funding package from HSBC UK to provide millions of infection control items to NHS key workers.

  • OM designs and manufactures healthcare lubricant gels, urology products, and infection control products such as OptiPro antibacterial wipes.

  • OM's products are supplied to 300 health trusts nationwide and used in British healthcare hospitals.

  • The funding enabled OM to produce more orders for its infection control range and increase its investment across key products.

Headline: Charity warns research investment could halve due to coronavirus

Date: 30th June

Source: Punchline Gloucester

Monthly Visitors: 8,370


  • The British Heart Foundation (BHF) urges the government to support charity research in the wake of Coronavirus outbreak.

  • The COVID-19 pandemic will cause the investment in new research to drop up to 50% this year.

  • This fall will drastically impact the UK's cardiovascular research and research careers of young scientists and advances in treatments for people with heart and circulatory diseases.

  • The government is urged to establish a Life Sciences-Charity Partnership Fund to help research charity funding and protect world class research in the UK.

2. Malaysia News

Headline: Junior Medical Officers Worry For Their Future As They May Not Be Absorbed Into MOH

Date: 2nd July 2020

Source: World of Buzz

Monthly Visitors: 329,070


  • 1,500 junior doctors who started their housemanship in May 2017 are offered a 2 year contract as medical officers on the UD41 grade.

  • This is to allow these junior doctors to complete their compulsory service without any extension.

  • However, if these medical officers are not absorbed into MOH after their contract ends, their future will be scare.

  • Moreover, these junior doctors on contract are paid less than housemen as they lose RM600 as monthly flexi allowance.

  • Whereas permanent doctors earn RM 4,000 more than them in a year. This creates a disparity in terms of their income.

  • Contract Medical Officers (UD41) in Psychiatry and Radiology Departments are also not entitled to "hazard leaves".

  • Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) reported that 3,500 junior doctors from the cohorts of 25th May 2017 & 17th July 2017, might not get permanent positions in government healthcare facilities at the end of their compulsory service.

  • This results in the UD41 doctors continuing to remain in UD41 for 3 years, and cannot progress to UD44.

Headline: Medical tourism’s SOPs get full approval

Date: 2nd July 2020

Source: The Malaysian Reserve

Monthly Visitors: 179,700


  • Malaysia Healthcare Tourism Council (MHTC) confirmed that Malaysia will receive medical tourists who require critical treatment.

  • Patients coming into Malaysia for medical tourism will undergo isolation and tests.

  • MHTC's initial revenue earnings target was RM 2 billion.

  • However, MHTC is expecting a 70% drop in revenue as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

  • MHTC has begun to open its inbox for medical tourism enquiries as of 1st July.

  • Phase 1A and 1B will allow for patients requiring critical care and medical evacuation while having access to charter flights.

  • Phase 1A and 1B will not allow patients coming from red or black zones.

  • Phase 2 will allow medical tourists to travel commercially on flights from green zone countries.

  • A doctor from Pantai Hospital (KL) reported that the current challenges faced by medical tourism is the inability to provide more telemedicine.

  • This inability is shown where many Malaysians themselves cannot receive medication in their own country due to customs and travel limitations.

Headline: COVID-19: Malaysia records 2 new cases today, no new deaths for 16 days Date: 30th June 2020 Source: Soya Cincau Monthly Visitors: 370,740


  • There are a total of 20 new recoveries on 30th June, and 8,354 patients who are recovered and discharged.

  • On 30th June, there are 164 active cases remaining.

  • It was reported on 30th June (12PM) that there are no red zone areas in the country.

  • Rembau (28 cases), Lembah Pantai (9 cases), and Sepang (6 cases).

  • Pulau Pinang, Perlis, Kedah, Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang are fully green.

  • The above figures exclude the number of imported cases from other countries.

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