The Malaysian government has allocated a total of MYR 30.6 billion (USD 7.37 billion) in its budget for healthcare in 2020. The allocation was tabled during the Budget 2020 presentation in Parliament in October, and represents an increase of 7% from last year’s portion of MYR 28.7 billion (USD 6.91 billion). Also included in the budget is the MYR 60 million (USD 14.45 million) initial allocation for pneumococcal vaccination for all children to fight pneumococcal diseases, which according to the Ministry of Health, are among the most preventable diseases in Malaysia.
The bulk of the budget will be used to construct new hospitals, as well as to upgrade and expand existing ones including Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital in Klang, Kampar Hospital in Perak and Labuan Hospital in Labuan, along with the expansion of cardiology centers at existing hospitals such as in Queen Elizabeth II Hospital in Sabah, altogether which will assume MYR 1.6 billion (USD 390 million). Another MYR 319 million (USD 76.81 million) will be used for the construction and upgrading of health and dental clinics.
An amount of MYR 227 million (USD 54.66 million) will be earmarked for Medical equipment upgrading, while another MYR 95 million (USD 22.87 million) is for Medical Infrastructures and facilities renovation. A further MYR 59 million (USD 14.21 million) will be allocated to acquire more ambulances in collaboration with non-governmental organization Medical ambulance services.
An allocation to the tune of MYR 31 million (USD 7.46 million) will be allotted to upgrade and maintain ICT services, and conduct a pilot project for hospital electronic Medical records. In November 2018, the government announced that an Electronic Medical Record system would be implemented at 145 public hospitals within the next three years.
Consistent with the Sustainable Development Goals to provide universal health coverage, MYR 5 million (USD 1.20 million) will be set aside to provide mobile clinics in rural areas targeting especially Orang Asli. Equally for the national health protection scheme MySalam, the coverage to the existing 36 critical illnesses will be extended to 45 illnesses, while the age eligibility is increased from 55 to 65 years old with gross annual income of up to MYR 100,000 (USD 24,078).
(Sources: Malay Mail; New Straits Times)