Thursday, December 18, 2008

Heartless future for Heart Institute?

Malaysiakini - Gov't gives green light to IJN privatisation.

What a f*-up decision!

In case you don’t know, the IJN (Institute Jantung Negara) is the National Heart Institute.

Currently the Finance Ministry owns and finances the IJN. And if Malaysia does well in anything, it’s in the IJN and its services. It's the leading medical heart centre in the region.

But DPM Najib, who’s also Finance Minister, has given the green light for its privatisation. Sime Darby is the conglomerate which will acquire a stake in IJN …

and undoubtedly … and eventually ... swallow it up completely!

… which means the publicly owned IJN will be PRIVATELY owned.

And in the private sector, its services will be provided at more than cost recovery. Aiyah, bizness lah, gotta make a ringgit or two … more likely three or more.

In making the privatization announcement Najib stressed that Sime Darby must ensure high priority for the poor.

Yea right, everyone knows that Sime Darby is just a charitable organization!

Malaysiakini also reported that Health Minister Liow Tiong Lai, echoing the future PM, said that the government would continue to regulate fees at IJN even if it was to be privatised, to ensure patients would not be overcharged.

What poppycock, just like they regulate the highway toll fees!

What Lim Guan Eng, the Penang CM, said of the government's announcement is true, that the privatisation of the IJN will eventually deny the poor affordable access to the facility.

IJN, the Heart Institute will become a ‘heartless' organization.

As reported by Malaysiakini, Lim wasn’t unconstructive as he proposed that:

… there was nothing wrong if the government considered generating revenue from the IJN or tried to run the institute like a private enterprise. The main thing was that the specialist hospital must remain under the government control ..… the public would want a medical centre ‘that is filled with love’ and ‘should continue to be a centre with a heart for the people.

Spot on, Lim!

I feel that there are certain facilities the government must never privatize …….. such as:

... water (watch out for those huge French and British water conglomerates),

... armed forces (no Yankee Blackwater please),

... emergency services (we certainly don’t want ambulance people checking our wallets for documentary evidence of private health insurance before accepting our badly injured bodies for transfer to hospitals),

… etc

IJN should be one of these non-negotiable public institutes.

Now, here's a good cause to protest for ..... to ensure future generations of poorer Malaysians with congenital heart problems won't be denied access to this public institute.


  1. A total sell off. Najib's statement shows how uncaring the government is. Another good institution sold of. Just lower the IPP payment (RM1-2 billion per year) and you can keep IJN. Najib's response to the hillside tragedy is also hollow - consider HK blueprint so homeowners pay. Government make all the profit and take away the few institution that is effective for the rakyat.

    Why is sime darby so influencial? They got the government to pressure Guthrie etc. to merge and now this...

  2. Who is behind Sime Darby? Is it KJ?

    And... Why MOF instead of Ministry of Hell is owning IJN???

  3. how is it that despite all the objections proposals like this are accepted by our leaders?

    do they not have a sense of what is right and wrong any longer?

    what about the good men on the sime board? why are they silent?

  4. The public loves IJN because it is free....and so do the folks at IJN ...because they get to bill the tax payer three times how much it would cost otherwise.....Najib knows this....and times are bad....a free ride is over...better hive it off to that buck and split it between UMNO and Health Ministry....otherwise how to build another Queen E in KK mah....

  5. Any sane human here know this is clearly a very unpopular decision.

    The big question mark is why Najib has to make this announcement now knowing very well he has not ascended to the throne yet.

    Was Najib force to do it by Badawi or SIL in attempt to derail Najib?

    As it is, Najib face is already full of mud by this announcemnt in the last 24 hours. And the opposition will have a field day at the coming KT by-election

    Strange isn't it? Is this what Tun M has been warning Najib in his recent posting in

    3 months is indeed a long time:)

  6. I don't see the problem.

    Sime Darby is a GLC anyway. That means the government has some control over it.

    The same way they have control over the price Petronas sells the gas to the power sector, and the same way they control the price TNB sells power.

  7. I've written this piece entitled Najib Statement On IJN Doesn't Jive

    Would appreciate if you or anyone could double check and confirm the insider info exposed.

  8. Heart Surgery and other forms of treatment are costly indeed, even if on a non-profit basis.
    I would say 90% of the population couldn't afford to be treated for it at a private hospital. IJN well-run, and professional, has been an excellent social service indeed.

    Unfortunately, IJN is not really part of the Health Ministry's hospital system (or shall I say fortunately ? - it couldn't have maintained its high standards if it were).
    I think its run as a corporation, but almost entirely owned by the Government (MOF). It probably runs at a loss every year, obviously, as it only charges patients a fraction of the true cost of a Coronary By-Pass, for example.

    Sigh..unfortunately Kerajaan Malaysia is not in a healthy financial state. So it has a strong interest to hive off this Cost Centre.
    I suspect what will happen in the end is Sime Darby will run it with a limited quota of low-cost treatment for poor patients, and government servants, but everyone else will be charged commercial profit-making rates.
    The losers will be the middle-class patients - maybe not considered poor, but for whom the RM 40-50K full cost for Heart Surgery will be a heavy financial burden.

  9. Watch the valuation.

    You can bet your bottom dollar IJN's land, R&D, investment in infrastructure and goodwill be grossly undervalued.

    It could also be that Sime Darby is eyeing the valuable land IJM is sitting on. Once (if) the deal is done, you will find SD
    'rationalising' SJMC's operations, merging the 2 entities into one at Subang Jaya and commencing upon an office cum condo project along Jln Tun Razak.

    And there's no way they will be able to guarantee that fees will be kept low. This is pure bullshit. Instead, there will be Govt subidies for Civil Servants and the poor, while costs to others will continually rise financed mainly by increase in health insurance premiums!!

    No, this 'directly negotiated' deal smells and looks crooked. Every sensible Malaysian must kill this deal DEAD, NOW!!

  10. Many thanks to all those who voted BN in March 2008 to enable this deal to take place. May a pox take you and your family

  11. the only people supporting this takeover is Zubir and najib.
    whats next zubir? afraid your KPI is now in tatters with the battered palm oil prices? a heartless move just to plug the hole in your KPI?
    Or Sime is part of JV with some cronies in this heartless takeover? Of course, the cronies will surreptiously take a stake in this JV once all systems go.
    KT, I dont have to apologise for my cynicism. Mark my words, if this takeover materialise, there's more than meet the eyes.

  12. Blackwater is not an Armed Forces not unlike the Army, Air Force or Navy. It's a company that specializes in 'renting' their personal. There is no active-duty military personal involved. All are ex-military of one sort or another.

    Think of it as an outsourcing company like Security Guards for hire. Jst that they are much more heavily armed, and do their safe guarding overseas.

    We all know a lot of Security Guards as ex-policemen or something. But yet it is being privatized. The same scenario is being implemented here.

  13. From Wiki - Blackwater Worldwide, formerly Blackwater USA, is a private military company founded in 1997 by Erik Prince and Al Clark.

    Another extract - On February 6, 2006, a sniper employed by Blackwater Worldwide opened fire from the roof of the Iraqi Justice Ministry, killing three guards working for the state-funded Iraqi Media Network. According to 13 witnesses, the guards had not fired on the Justice Ministry. An Iraqi police report described the shootings as "an act of terrorism" and said Blackwater "caused the incident."


    No, it isn't a security company in the sense as we know it, not by a long way.

    It's a private (commercially available) army.