Malaysia_flag  Putrajaya, Malaysia


 – Dr. Junainah Sabirin, Head, MaHTAS


History and Structure

The Malaysian Health Technology Assessment Section or known as MaHTAS was established in August 1995 under the Medical Programme, Ministry of Health (MOH) in keeping with the Ministry’s policy of ensuring that safe, effective and cost-effective technology is being used in the MOH facilities. This is done through the conduct of Health Technology Assessment (HTA), Mini-HTA (Technology Review), Information Brief (rapid assessment) and horizon scanning of emerging health technologies. The scope of activities of this section has also been expanded to develop and implement national Evidence-based Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPG) in 2001.


Being the centre of excellence for informed decision making for better healthcare.


Advocating evidence-informed health decision making by:

  • Producing transparent, relevant, accessible health technology assessment, clinical practice guidelines and other synthesized research evidence
  • Fostering collaboration with local and international stakeholders
  • Strengthening health technology assessment capacity in Malaysia
  • Empowering consumer

How MaHTAS Works

MaHTAS receives HTA issues from various organizations within Ministry of Health every two years which are then prioritised for the conduct of HTA. The HTA Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) prioritises the technologies to be assessed and presented to the Health Technology Assessment and Clinical Practice Guidelines (HTA-CPG) Council for approval. MaHTAS establishes relevant working teams within the section which comprise of doctors, epidemiologists, pharmacists and/or scientific officers. Each working team will systematically retrieve, critically appraise, synthesis and summarise the evidence. The evidence will be presented to an expert committee which is multidisciplinary depending on the issues before drafting the HTA report. The final HTA draft report will be sent to external reviewer(s) and then presented to the HTA TAC followed by HTA-CPG Council for approval. MaHTAS is the Secretariat for the HTA-CPG Council.

As for Mini-HTA, requests are received throughout the year. MaHTAS reviewers will conduct the assessment and send the Mini-HTA report to the requestor and relevant units/programmes. These reports are also presented to the HTA TAC for approval and to the HTA-CPG Council for endorsement.

MaHTAS develops and implements Evidence-based CPGs and conducts training on HTA, systematic review and development of Evidence-based CPG. The CPGs are developed by multidisciplinary groups which comprise of relevant clinical specialists, pharmacists, allied health personnel and academicians. The completed guidelines will be externally reviewed by various stakeholders before they are finally approved by the HTA-CPG Council and disseminated. Implementation tools such as Quick Reference, Training Modules and Patient Information Leaflet are also developed where possible.

Emerging technologies were identified either through proactive or reactive process. The identified technologies will be filtered using pre-defined criteria. The filtered technologies will be prioritised by the Horizon Scanning Technical Advisory Committee (HS TAC) members. MaHTAS horizon analyst will conduct assessment ensuing a draft report. The report will be presented to HS TAC and followed by HTA-CPG Council for endorsement.

Dissemination Activities

Once the HTA, Mini-HTA reports, Horizon Scanning reports and CPGs have been approved or endorsed by the HTA & CPG Council, it would be printed and disseminated to the relevant target groups. The findings of the HTA, Mini-HTA and CPGs will also be posted in MaHTAS newsletter and Facebook. The HTA, Mini-HTA and Horizon Scanning reports will also be uploaded in MOH website (full report and executive summary). The reports are also made available via mobile application (myMaHTAS-Android and iOS application). The reports are linked to the INAHTA database. The findings of the reports will also be published in peer review journals and will also be presented at seminars or conferences.

Current projects

1)    Health Technology Assessment:

  • N-Acetylcycteine (NAC) in Prevention of Contrast-Induced Acute Kidney Injury
  • Low Dose CT Scan for Lung Cancer Screening
  • Chinese Herbal Therapy as an Adjunct Management of Fatigue and Muscle Weakness in Cancer Patients Receiving Chemotherapy
  • Quit Smoking Interventions
  • Micro-invasive Glaucoma Surgery

2)    Technology review (Mini-HTA):

  • Zinc Supplementation as Adjuvant Therapy in Management of Diarrhoea in Children Less Than 5 Years Old
  • Yttrium-90 Microspheres (Selective Internal Radiation Therapy, SIRT) for Liver Cancer
  • Virtual reality (VR) Systems for Training in Opthalmic Surgery
  • Barcode Medication Administration System
  • Home Based Health Record
  • Homeopathy for Rheumatoid Arthritis, Bronchial Asthma or Allergic Rhinitis
  • Facepiece Respirators for Filtering Nanoparticles
  • Colorectal Cancer Screening Using Colonoscopy and Economic Evaluation
  • Flocculant-disinfectant Point-of-use Water Treatment
  • Integrated Notification for Tuberculosis
  • Transtuzumab for Adjuvant Breast Cancer and Economic Evaluation
  • Transtuzumab for Metastatic Breast Cancer and Economic Evaluation
  • Sunitinib/Pazotinib as First Line Treatment and Everolimus/Axitinib as Second Line Treatment for Metastatic Renal Cell Cancer and Economic Evaluation
  • Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) for Stroke Rehabilitation

3)    Clinical Practice Guidelines:

  • Management of Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus in Children and Adolescents
  • Management of Rhinosinusitis in Adolescents and Adults
  • Management of Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma
  • Management of Glaucoma (Second Edition)
  • Management of Colorectal Carcinoma
  • Management of Asthma in Adults (Second Edition)
  • Management of Chronic Kidney Disease in Adults (Second Edition)
  • Management of Diabetes in Pregnancy
  • Management of Atopic Eczema
  • Management of Haemophilia
  • Management of Diabetic Foot (Second Edition)

Future Plans

  • To enhance the collaboration with universities and research institutes in economic evaluations of health technologies particularly in the conduct of local studies.
  • To increase the utilisation of MaHTAS products for informed decision making.
  • To intensify activities in Horizon Scanning.


Agency Information


Country: Malaysia
Description of population served: National
Population served (mil): 30.8
Current HTA budget (mil USD): MOH operating budget
Permanent staff: 34
Consultants: Variable
Ongoing TA projects: 19

Contact Information

Director: Dr. Junainah Sabirin
Contact person: Dr. Izzuna Mudla Mohamed Ghazali

Health Technology Assessment Section, Ministry of Health Malaysia
Ministry of Health Malaysia
Federal Government Administrative Centre
Level 4, Block E1, Parcel E
62590 Putrajaya Malaysia

Tel: +603 888 312 29
Fax: +603 888 312 30