Rural Health

Author: Dato’ Dr Haji Abdul Majid Ismail

Publisher: Ministry of Health Malaysia

Year: 1971

The book discusses on the establishment of Rural Health Services in Malaya after its independence in 1957. It highlighted that the country inherited a medical and health service that was unevenly distributed between states and within the states. At that time more than 70% of the services were concentrated in the Urban and Semi-Urban areas where about 40% of the population lived and the remaining 60% of the population lives in rural areas. It was therefore not uncommon to find that many rural villages and kampongs had little or no medical and health services.

In conceiving the Rural Health Service, consideration was given to the provision of an integrated curative and preventive service for the rural people, based on their needs and problems and the pre-existing medical or health service before the inception of the Rural Health Service. All pre-existing facilities in· an area are being coordinated and integrated, by using the Rural Health Unit as a base or functional organisation for the operation of the Rural Health Service.

The basic plan called for:

  1. trained rural midwives, one per 2,000 population;
  2. one health sub-centre for every 10,000 population; and
  3. a main centre for every 50,000 population.

The books provide a brief description of the various services available and the list of main health centres, health sub-centres and midwives’ clinic-cum-quarters completed from 1956-1960. It also shows the improvement in the vital statistics from 1946 to 1968.