History and StructureThe Malaysian Health Technology Assessment (MaHTAS) was established in August 1995, under the Medical Programme, Ministry of Health Malaysia, in keeping with the Ministry´s policy of ensuring that safe, effective and cost effective technology is being used in the Ministry of Health facilities in Malaysia.
Initially, reports on health technology assessment were the only output of this section. However, since 2001, this section conducted technology reviews which are rapid assessments of health technologies. The scope of activities of this section has been expanded in 2001 with the inclusion of developing and implementing national evidence-based Clinical Practice Guidelines.
MissionOur vision is to ensure appropriate use of health technology by influencing dicision-makers through collection, analysis, dissemination of information on safety, effectivenes, cost-effectiveness and health impact of technologies. Our mission is to provide evidence for informed decision making to policymakers, health care providers and consumers.
How MaHTAS works MaHTAS receives health technology assessment topics from various organizations within Ministry of Health for prioritization in every two years. The Technical Advisory Committee prioritizes the technologies to be assessed and presented to the Health Technology Assessment and Clinical Practice Guidelines Council for approval. MaHTAS establishes working teams within the section which comprise of doctors, epidemiologists, pharmacists and scientific officers. The working team will systematically retrieve, critically appraise, synthesize and summarize the evidence. The evidence will be presented to an expert committee which is multi-disciplinary depending on the topics. With the input from the expert committee a draft of the report will be prepared and presented to the expert comittee again. Afterwards the report will be finalized and sent to external reviewers. After incorporating the external reviewers´ opinion, the findings will be presented to the Technical Advisory Committee for technical input and later presented to the Health Technology Assessment and Clinical Practice Guideline Council for endorsement. The section is the Secretariat for the Health Technology Assessment and Clinical Practice Guideline Council.
As for technology review, the requests are received throughout the year. MaHTAS staff will conduct the assessment and send the report to the requesters and relevant units/program. This report does not go through external review process.
Dissemination activitiesAll health technology assessment reports are published in full on the website of the Ministry of Health Malaysia after endorsement by the Health Technology Assessment and Clinical Practice Guidelines Council. The printed reports are disseminated to our target groups which include the Program Directors of Ministry of Health, Divisional Directors of Ministry of Health, State Health Directors, Hospital Directors and relevant departments in the hospitals, District Health Officers, universities, medical professional bodies and private hospitals´ organization. The findings are also disseminated through HTA newsletters which are widely distributed to target groups.
The technology review reports are published in full on the Ministry of Health Malaysia website after completion. Hardcopies of each report are sent to the requestors and relevant parties. Each year the reports are compiled and distributed to the target groups as mentioned above.
2) Technology review
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INAHTA – International Network of Agencies for Health Technology Assessment e-mail: INAHTA@surgeons.org