Malaysian health care is a parallel system with both public and private sectors. The MOH (Ministry of Health) is the main provider of health services in the country, delivering comprehensive medical, health, dental and pharmaceutical services at primary, secondary and tertiary levels of care.
The public health services are heavily subsidized by the government. The practice of financial distribution within the Ministry of Health of Malaysia has traditionally been dependent on historical information, i.e., looking at past performance. Any additional increment has been based on arbitrary predictions of the consumer index or inflation. A more appropriate distribution would be based not only on the volume of patients, but also on the morbidity profiles of these populations.
Because of the development of the TPC (Tele-Primary Care) electronic system, considerable data is now collected, and there exists a vast potential for data-mining. One potential area of study is to account for the differences in the health status of populations and their anticipated need for healthcare services. An earlier project demonstrated that the TPC dataset provides viable data that can be used for understanding differences in case mix and resource need by various population sub-groups. This was the first step in a multi-stage process to demonstrate the benefits of integrating case mix into the Malaysian healthcare system.
As a result of the first project, an increased understanding of the TPC database was gained, which is providing usable data. However, to make full and effective use of TPC, a resource-use measure based on micro-costing information needed to be developed and validated. This project evaluated the plausibility of recently developed cost measures. This new resource-use measure would enable a clearer understanding of the resource consumption based on the morbidity profile of populations across regions, as well as individual clinics.