Poor turnout for free health tests worrying

Ling (third from right) visiting the Tongkang Pechah market in Batu Pahat, Johor.

JOHOR is concerned over the low turnout for the Peka B40 scheme that allows the B40 group to undergo free health screening for non-communicable diseases (NCD).

Johor health and unity committee chairman Ling Tian Soon said presently only 8.9% of those eligible for the scheme have gone through the health screening.

“In Johor, 762,909 individuals under the B40 income group are eligible for a medical check-up but only 68,478 have been screened.

“The low number is quite concerning as the government has had the Peka B40 scheme for two years now,” added the Yong Peng assemblyman when met after a working visit to Tongkang Pechah in Batu Pahat, Johor.

Ling urged those that had yet to undergo health screening under the scheme to ensure that it gets done as prevention was better than cure.

He added that the free health screening was carried out at government clinics and appointed privately run clinics all over the state.

“Those aged 40 years and above are eligible for the Peka B40 scheme. They just need to bring their MyKad to the clinics.

“The health screening does not take a long time. Medical officers will take blood and urine samples for lab tests to check whether the person is healthy or at risk of having NCD,” he said.

Ling added that individuals would have to wait two weeks before obtaining their result.

“If a person is found to have NCD, they will get a referral letter to go to a government hospital for further check-up.

“People can also obtain an allocation through the B40 Peka scheme to either buy medical equipment or cover their transport fee if they have to use public transport to visit the hospital,” he said.

Ling added that there were many reasons why people were reluctant to go for free medical screening.

Besides not being fully aware of the Peka B40 scheme, he said a majority of them were afraid to know what diseases they could potentially have.

“However, the screening is for their own good as it will allow them to get medical treatment from doctors at an early stage,” he said.

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