MIRI: An estimated 16,000 people in Miri district are missing out on the Skim Peduli Kesihatan (Peka B40) and mySalam health incentive schemes introduced by the Federal Government.
Miri MP Dr Michael Teo Yu Keng said the figure was a conservative estimate based on ground surveys and feedback obtained by the Miri PKR office staff from the public in his parliamentary constituency.
Dr Teo said the eligibility age for inclusion into the Peka B40 group (monthly household income of RM3,000 and below) had been lowered this year from 50 and above to 40 and above.
“The Peka B40 offers the subscriber and their spouse many benefits in terms of health checks and aids such as hearing aid, artificial joints, wheelchairs and cataract lens.
“The mySalam health insurance coverage offers those in the B40 group who are aged 18 to 55 and their spouse RM8,000 coverage for 45 critical illnesses plus hospital fees for up to RM700 annually.
“Those who qualify for the Peka B40 health scheme also get free health screening that includes blood tests.
“Peka B40 is a very important health incentive scheme provided by the Federal Government for the low income folk.
“Those eligible can get free blood tests, cholesterol checks, urine tests, blood pressure checks and other health screening.
“They even qualify for cataract surgery, ” he said.
He added that the Government had appointed 13 private clinics for the scheme in Miri.
“However, we estimate that at least 16,000 folk here are missing out as they are not aware of this free health incentive, ” said Dr Teo.
He said mobile units would be sent to various areas to facilitate registration for B40 benefits.
These mobile units will also go to remote areas such as Long San and Belaga, he added.
Miri has a population of 350,000 and a sizeable portion of them are urban poor.
Dr Teo, a medical doctor, is Miri PKR branch chairman.
Belaga PKR branch chairman Abun Sui said Belaga district was very remote and there was a large number of people needing the services of mobile units to help them register for B40 benefits.
“The very remote longhouses in Belaga face logistics and communication problems.
“They are very hard to reach and transportation is only by land and river over long distances of tough and rough terrains.
“PKR Belaga will prepare manpower to help register as many as possible so that they can secure the B40 health schemes, ” he said.
Dr Teo and Abun went around meeting folk in Miri last week to tell them about the mySalam and Peka B40 incentives.