PUTRAJAYA: The health ministry has proposed the inclusion of six new initiatives totalling RM3.4 billion to be included in Budget 2023.
Health minister Khairy Jamaluddin said the request was made at an engagement session with finance minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz on Aug 30.
“The six new initiatives proposed include the strengthening of the healthcare and wellness programme, with an estimated budget of RM738 million; improvement and repair of the ministry’s health facilities (RM791.5 million); and improving the effectiveness of healthcare treatment (RM850 million).
“The others are the replacement of critical and obsolete medical assets (RM400 million); digitalisation of healthcare services (RM460 million); and appreciation incentives for medical personnel (RM183 million),” he told reporters during a “One-Year Achievement as Health Minister” interview here.
Khairy said the proposal for an allocation to improve and repair healthcare facilities was made because there were 2,732 government clinics in neglected condition which were still operating to serve the public.
“Good health can be achieved through adequate and functioning healthcare facilities. It saddens me to witness the condition of many of our public clinics, particularly those in rural areas, including Sabah and Sarawak.
“Hence, I have requested a special budget from the finance ministry to be approved in Budget 2023. It includes the upgrading of building infrastructure and replacement of medical equipment,” he said.
Khairy said his ministry was grateful to Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob and Tengku Zafrul as well as Malaysians who supported the proposal for the ministry’s allocation to be increased to 5% of the gross domestic product compared to the current 2.10%.
He said the ministry’s request was rational as it would help provide services that would give the best treatment to those in need.
“However, the ministry is also aware that if this request is approved, it does not mean we will implement it next year. Perhaps, it may take up to five years, depending on the country’s financial situation.
“But I feel the projects can be implemented, for example, through an increase in revenue collection or through rationalising subsidies, especially the petroleum subsidy, to the targeted groups,” he said.
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