IPOH: Foreign workers will be eligible for private healthcare insurance from next year onwards under the Government’s non-profit health insurance scheme, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said.
He said it would be the first target group to have the healthcare insurance, and therefore they would be the target group first.
Dr Subramaniam said for the next phase, the ministry would go for other groups.
“We will grow at a pace that we are comfortable with to ensure the success of the initiative.
“This is a beginning of our initiative of providing an alternative scheme at rates that are much more competitive compared to what is offered by the private sector,” he told reporters after the ground breaking ceremony at the new location for SJK(T) Gunung Rapat near here yesterday.
In May this year, Dr Subramaniam said that the scheme was aimed at ensuring the cost of private medical treatment in the country remained reasonable and affordable.
He said that the Cabinet had approved the scheme and preparations were ongoing, as the ministry would need initial funds to launch it.
Dr Subramaniam said the ministry was also looking at a mechanism under the scheme, where purchase of healthcare services from the private medical sectors could be at a reasonable cost.
He said among the current weakness of the outside private healthcare system is that people who are ill, and require insurance, have to pay higher premiums for their insurance policies.
Dr Subramaniam said under the scheme they were hoping to find a mechanism to right the problem.
“One, of course, we need to have a wider pool across the demographic of the population, and secondly, there might be instances in the long term where the Government might decide to help a certain category of people, and if that happens, we will be able to facilitate as well.
“So there are multiple steps which will be able to address the issue, but we need a beginning for all this.
“So this is a start, and as it evolves, we will get new ideas and approaches which will be identified,” he added.