‘Healthcare budget cut not a problem’

  • Nation
  • Friday, 01 May 2015

KUALA LUMPUR: The quality of care given at government hospitals and clinics has not been compromised despite a RM300mil cut in the Health Ministry's budget following the fall in oil prices, said minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam.

On April 18, a news site reported that the Universiti Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC), which is under the jurisdiction of the Education Ministry, had its budget cut to RM387mil despite an expenditure of RM510mil last year, raising fears that the quality of care for patients might be affected, while medical students might also be negatively impacted.

Dr Subramaniam said his ministry has allocated RM27bil for healthcare this year, and so, savings were made by slashing expenditure at functions, conferences and campaigns.

“No, we have not made any decision on any more cuts next year,” he said when asked if the budget would be trimmed further.

Speaking after the launch of the Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka's medical book in conjunction with the International Book Fest here yesterday, Dr Subramaniam said budget cuts at UMMC should not have impacted training.

“This is a specific issue with UMMC. They should look at how they could manage their budget so that it does not affect their core activities and discuss it with the Education Ministry to see how they can resolve it,” he said.

In a separate interview, a doctor who declined to be named said there was a budget cut across all ministries and health expenditure had been cut but allowances of doctors were left alone.

While there were no cuts on dispensing per se, hospitals had been advised to use more generic drugs, while at the same time rationing the use of costlier innovator drugs, he said.

Hospital Kuala Lumpur director Datuk Dr Zaininah Mohd Zain said that the hospital was conducting more impact studies so that clinicians knew the financial impact of every item ordered and service rendered.

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