Countries affected by COVID-19 are faced with difficult decisions to balance between responding promptly and proactively to disease outbreaks, engaging in strategic planning and coordinating actions to maintain essential healthcare services delivery and mitigating the risk of health systems collapse. Malaysia, along with many other countries in the world, is currently facing the COVID-19 pandemic. Reduced access to other healthcare services is a collateral damage of a pandemic as focus is shifted towards addressing the main problem at hand.

In response to that, Centre for Healthcare Quality Research (CHQR), in collaboration with the Family Health Development Division and Medical Development Division as the key stakeholders and collaborators, have agreed to use RES method to evaluate the effects of previous disease outbreaks on the accessibility of healthcare services.

Discussion on the research question, which is; What are the impacts of disease outbreaks on the utilisation of healthcare services? was held virtually in two separate sessions.  We thanked Dr Nazrila Hairizan Nasir who headed the team from Family Health Development Division and Datin Dr Asmah Samat who led the Medical Development Division’s team for the very fruitful sessions. Both teams have provided us with several suggestions for project improvement to assist in their policy making.

We hope the results from this review will provide important lessons learnt from previous disease outbreaks such as, SARS, MERS-CoV and Ebola on the trend of health utilisation during the disease outbreaks. This review will provide areas that policymakers should focus in terms of addressing access to health care as the collateral damage of the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. Results from this review will also raise awareness and help health systems to be more prepared for future consequences of the COVID-19, especially in harnessing recovery of health services post-pandemic era.

Currently, we are analysing the evidences and aim to provide the final findings by end of August 2020. The compilation of the step by step process and findings will be shared later. Any suggestions or ideas can be emailed to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.