GEORGE TOWN - A health TV channel, TV Kesihatan, will be set up in 2015 if everything goes as planned, said Deputy Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahaya.
The TV channel, he said, was part of the ministry's health awareness efforts.
He said the awareness campaigns by the ministry now included health talks and the distribution of free health magazines and pamphlets.
"We also have MedikTV, which is broadcast to government hospitals and clinics nationwide but personally I feel the dissemination of information is still insufficient.
"A channel like TV Kesihatan which is free for everybody will enable the community to get more information on health-related issues such as proper eating, healthy lifestyle and maybe commercials and dramas with health-related messages.
"It will be like RTM 1 and 2 but this will be RTM Kesihatan," he said after opening the Sales Cooperative mini carnival and Nak Sihat campaign at the southwest district mosque grounds in Balik Pulau yesterday.
On another matter, Dr Hilmi unveiled plans by the ministry to build an additional 50 1Malaysia Clinics nationwide next year.
So far, there are 240 such clinics.
"We are now identifying suitable sites. We will place a medical assistant in the clinic but if there are more than 100 patients in a day, we will allocate a medical officer there.
"Currently, there are 22 1Malaysia Clinics with a medical officer," he said.
Dr Hilmi said maternal and child services would also be available in eight 1Malaysia Clinics next year.
"The ministry is stepping up its efforts to provide more healthcare services to the people," he said.
He also said that there were now 56 hospitals with locum, including Penang hospital and Seberang Jaya Hospital, to provide services at night to those who cannot afford private clinics.