The 5th Dr Wu Lien-Teh Annual Public Lecture was held amidst the novel coronavirus pandemic on 15th March 2020, and three days before the National Movement Control Order came into effect! Out of the 82 registrations, 49 (including the organizing committee) attended the public lecture at Penang Institute. All sat sparingly in a hall with 150 seats adhering to social distancing and using hand sanitizers readily available within the venue compound. Some wore masks and persons with symptoms were discouraged to attend the lecture. The lecture was broadcast live via Facebook page of Penang Institute, and attended by 10 viewers. Light refreshments were cancelled too!
Dr Michael Jeyakumar Devaraj, a renowned health activist, Consultant Respiratory Physician and former Member of Parliament, was our invited speaker this year, on “Health for All: Challenges and Opportunities”. He spoke passionately on the challenges and shared his perspectives through the proposed solutions and opportunities emerging from the present society and younger generations. There were 5 challenges identified: (1) inadequate health budget allocation, (2) naive belief in market-based solutions for health financing, (3) misdirection by World Bank on health financing, (4) failure to identify the real issues fueling disparity in wealth distribution, and (5) failure of progressives to present a believable alternative for common good.
For those who are interested to view the recorded lecture, please visit the Facebook page.
We thank the Penang Institute to co-organize this public lecture together with the Society.