Budget 2016: Healthcare boost

PETALING JAYA: The Government will spend RM4.6bil on fresh vaccines, consumables, and medicines for public hospitals in its efforts to boost the quality of healthcare in 2016.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said 33 new 1Malaysia clinics would be built nationwide, while Pasir Gudang, Kemaman, Pendang, Cyberjaya, and Maran would get a new hospital each.

“Naturally, which country would not want the best quality in health services? This has always been championed by the Barisan Nasional government - previously, now, and forever,” he said when tabling Budget 2016 in Parliament, Friday.

Najib outlined seven key initiatives to improve healthcare, which also include RM250mil to upgrade rural and urban health clinics, dental clinics, and living quarters for staff.

He said the Government would also undertake a project to redevelop Kajang Hospital, adding that RM72mil would be allocated for medical assistance such as haemodialysis, which would benefit some 10,000 patients among the less fortunate.

Earlier in his speech, Najib announced that the number of medicines subject to zero-rated GST would be increased from the current 4,215 to 8,630 types of medicines.

“There will be a zero-rating (of GST) for all types of controlled medicines under the Poisons List group A, B, C, and D, as well as an addition of 95 brands of over-the-counter medicines, including treatment for 30 types of illnesses such as cancer, diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease,” Najib said.

Meanwhile, the social security benefits announced by Najib include a monthly remittance of RM350 to working persons with disabilities (OKU) and RM200 to unemployed OKUs, as well as RM300 to disabled persons who are bedridden.

“Altogether, this will benefit 150,000 people with disabilities,” he said.

Najib said the Government would also provide children from poor families a monthly allowance of between RM100 and RM450, and a RM300 allowance for senior citizens in the poor category.

Apart from that, RM100mil would be allocated to build another 20 rehabilitation centres in the community, he added.

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