Budget 2023: capacity of public health services strengthened with allocation of RM36.1 billion

KUALA LUMPUR: The government will continue to strengthen the capacity of public health services next year by placing the Ministry of Health among the beneficiaries of the largest allocation increase in the 2023 budget, amounting to 36.1 billion of RM against 32.4 billion RM this year.

Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz during the tabling of the Supply Bill 2023 on Friday, October 7, said that although the country is now in transition to an endemic phase, Covid-19 was still a public threat, and therefore, in the face of In the future, efforts will be made to strengthen health services.

“A total of RM4.9 billion was provided for the purchase of drugs, reagents, vaccines and disposable devices, an increase of 12% from 2022,” he said today. today in the Dewan Rakyat.

Describing Malaysia’s total spending on healthcare services as equivalent to that of neighboring countries, around 4% of gross domestic product (GDP), he said the priority next year was to renovate facilities, including dilapidated clinics.

“The government is providing RM420 million for the repair of dilapidated hospitals and clinics as well as the replacement of old equipment, with priority given to health facilities inside Sabah and Sarawak.

“Next year, several new hospitals, clinics and facility construction projects will be implemented, including the purchase of equipment at a cost of nearly RM1.8 billion, the construction of Maran Hospital in Pahang at a cost of RM350 million, construction of the children’s block at Melaka Hospital and five new health clinics such as in Linggi (Negeri Sembilan), Penampang (Sabah) and Sepupok (Sarawak)”, did he declare.

Under the budget titled “Keluarga Malaysia, Prospering Together”, Tengku Zafrul said the government will also acquire mobile CT equipment to improve CT services, especially for the benefit of inland areas of Sabah and Sarawak.

On mental health, he said the government plans to establish a National Center of Excellence in Mental Health which acts as an integrated driving force between all parties for the mental health well-being of the people in part of MyMYNDA with an allowance of RM34mil.

“To support the national dental health policy, the scope of income tax relief on medical treatment costs for individuals, spouses and children will be expanded to include dental examination and treatment costs. , limited to RM1,000 from tax year 2023.

“In addition to this, RM10 million will also be allocated for the purchase of ten 3D printing machines for the production of dental prostheses, which can reduce the time a patient visits the government dental clinic from five to only two,” he said.

To encourage smokers to quit, Tengku Zafrul said the government also plans to waive import duty and sales tax on nicotine replacement therapy products.

He also said that to complement the decision to make Kuala Lumpur Hospital and Tunku Azizah Hospital as referral centers for rare diseases, the government will also increase allocations to RM25mil to cover the increased costs of treatment.

“The Government had also established a Rare Disease Treatment Trust Account in July 2022 to allow all parties to channel donations. I am pleased to announce that donations to this fund will be tax deductible equal to the amount of the actual contribution. . It is hoped that many parties will come forward to help ease the burden of patient treatment costs,” he said.

As prevention is better than cure, Tengku Zafrul said the government will also step up health screening efforts through the PeKa B40 program with an allocation of RM80 million, including for diabetes.

He said the government would also make improvements to the Social Security Organization (Socso) health screening scheme by opening it up to some 2.3million registered workers under the Socso disability scheme. through an allocation of RM80 million as first steps towards the detection and prevention of critical diseases such as cancer. and heart disease.

Furthermore, Tengku Zafrul said that the implementation of MySalam will continue for beneficiaries of Bantuan Keluarga Malaysia (BKM) by opening it up to insurance and takaful companies to ensure program continuity.

He said that since 2019, MySalam has approved critical illness and hospitality claims amounting to RM734 million to 1.5 million B40 people, including 500,000 people who received compensation due of Covid-19 with a total value of RM330 million.

“The Perlindungan Tenang Voucher which has benefited more than three million BKM beneficiaries will also be continued through the cost-sharing method and extended to purchase flood protection products for residences,” he said. he declares.

He also called on more entities to contribute to the National Trust Fund (KWAN) to benefit the country, especially after PETRONAS announced its intention to donate RM2bil to the agency next year. – Bernama

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