Health Policy

Brunei National Survey on Risk Factors on Non-Communicable Diseases (2016)

Joint study with Ministry of Health

A national survey was conducted covering a total of 2,688 households to determine the prevalence of risk factors for non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and to monitor the effectiveness of strategies in addressing NCDs. The results from the survey have been used by MOH in their policies and programmes, as part of the Brunei Darussalam National Multisectoral Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases (BruMAP-NCD) 2013-2018.

study on impact of anti-smoking advertisement in brunei cinemas (2014)

Joint study with Health Promotion Centre, Ministry of Health

This study assesses the impact of an anti-smoking advertisement on cinema patrons.

A survey of more than 500 respondents shows that a majority agreed that the advertisement was attention-grabbing, impactful to make smokers consider to quit smoking, creates awareness of the dangers and addictive nature of smoking, and provided sufficient information on where to seek help.

The study recommends to also produce the advertisement in English to cater to non-Malay speakers, to step up prevention campaigns in addition to anti-smoking advertisements, and consider more targeted messages to hard-core smokers and the youth.

Medical Leave Procedure (2014)

This policy brief addresses the question of whether Brunei Darussalam should adopt a self-certifying medical leave policy (SCML) for employees in the public and private sector. It also proposes for the best SCML option to adopt if SCML is to be implemented.

The policy brief recommended that SCML should be implemented for both public and private sectors as the existing system requiring medical certificates (MCs) for sick leave is prone to abuse and has a tendency to encourage or at least, accommodate longer and unnecessary absenteeism from work. This presents negative implications as it results in considerable direct and indirect costs to the workplace, individual and Ministry of Health (MoH). There is a strong case for proper control on the duration of paid sick leave for minor illnesses and abuse of MC issuance so that absenteeism can be reduced. A more robust management of sick leave can be achieved via an SCML policy which provides empowerment for employees to decide whilst at the same time, incentivizes them to reduce sick leave or to return to work earlier.

Our recommendation is for the abolition of the MC requirement for taking sick leave for minor illnesses in favour of the SCML provision for a specified number of six days per year to be taken not more than two days in a row. In addition, there should be a monetary reward for the number of SCML days that are not utilised by the employee to be paid on an annual basis. If this is administratively inexpedient, then the monetary reward may be omitted to allow for six days SCML per year to be taken not more than two days in a row.

In September 2016, MoH applied our recommendation for SCML using option 1: Self-certification of a specified number of sick leave days to be deducted from existing annual leave.

This study has been published as a CSPS Policy Brief in 2014.

should brunei adopt a self-certifying medical leave policy? (2014)

This study assesses the use of a self-certifying medical leave (SCML) policy to reduce time wastage, administrative burden on the Ministry of Health, and to increase workforce productivity. We examined the best practices of other countries, including ASEAN countries and developed countries such as Australia, Canada, Germany, New Zealand, and United Kingdom.

The study recommends for the abolition of Medical Leave certification for minor illnesses in favour of SCML provision for a specified number of days per year. The recommendation from this study has been applied in the public sector since September 2016.

Brunei Health System Survey (2013)

Joint study with Ministry of Health and RTI International

This study measures the public’s perceptions, expectations, and behaviors related to the healthcare system.

The survey includes 1,197 face-to-face, household survey of the population across the four districts. The results show that healthcare utilisation varies by ethnicity, district of residence, health status, and income. Chinese households and those with higher incomes were less likely to utilise public healthcare compared to private healthcare services. Temburong district has the lowest healthcare utilisation rate. People with poor health were much more likely to use government hospital services.