KUALA LUMPUR, July 15 — The Ministry of Health (MoH) is currently in the midst of forming a National Autism Council to streamline education, treatment and post-diagnosis care for those afflicted with the neurological and developmental disorder.
Its minister Khairy Jamaluddin said the council will comprise members from non-governmental organisations, parents, and patient advocates.
He said the ministry hopes to get the council up and running by the end of the year.
"The formation of the council and all concerned parties can band together and form a network that provides better information sharing among the various agencies and governing bodies in Malaysia.
"We also want a National Clinical Autism Registry to collect data on cases so we can have holistic information that can help MOH to do better intervention work," Khairy said during a press conference in Kuala Lumpur today.
The council will also look into all aspects concerning autism like insurance coverage.
Khairy said it will be guided by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) on this matter.
He said he would bring this recommendation to the Cabinet and wants the council to be a focal point that brings together shareholders that are able to craft evidence-based intervention to better support and serve individuals on the autism spectrum.
"The council will provide support for parents and also make sure we support those with autism from the time they are children till they are adults. This is a key point.
"As for insurance coverages, we are guided by BNM and we will call them for their opinions and support on how to move forward in that regard.
"We need to move away from looking at autism as something that needs to be contained or controlled. It’s something that needs to be understood and we need to look from the perspective of the people on the spectrum," he added.