IPOH: The number of people seeking dialysis treatment is expected to increase to 50,000 by next year, Dr Lee Boon Chye said.
The Deputy Health Minister said in 2016, a total of 39,058 patients received such treatment and the figures are expected to increase next year.
He said the government spent RM1.6bil in 2016 on dialysis.
“It is not only a burden on the government but also to the patients.”
Dr Lee said with the increase in the number of patients, the cost too would also escalate.
“From the figures, 33% of patients received treatment at government facilities, 47% from private hospitals, and another 20% from non-governmental organisations.
“For non-profit organisations, the government provides a RM200,000 grant to build a haemodialysis centre.
“As for poor patients seeking treatment at such centres, they are eligible to receive RM100 aid for each dialysis treatment,” he told reporters after launching the state-level World Kidney Day celebrations here yesterday.
Dr Lee, however, said more people are coming forward to get medical examinations done, and this could be one factor in the increase in the number of patients.
“It is very important to get medical checks done regularly to prevent and treat diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure.
“This will also reduce the risk of renal failure.
“We need to stay healthy, eat right and exercise often to prevent serious illness from occurring,” he added.
On a separate matter, he reminded the public not to consume seven types of high-blood medications containing Losartan recalled by the Health Ministry.
Dr Lee advised those who still have such medications to return them to the supplier.
He said the ministry had taken the specified medications off the shelf since in early March.
He said the medicines are a possible threat to humans as they contain a substance which is possibly carcinogenic.
The ministry in a statement recently said that since March 7, the seven types of medications recalled were Losagen 50, Losagen 100, Losartas 50mg tablets, Losartas 100mg tablets, Tozaar Plus LS 50/12.5mg tablets, Tozaar 50mg tablets and Tozaar tablets 100mg.
Dr Lee said all pharmaceutical companies involved had been instructed to recall the seven types of medications.
“If suppliers are still found to be selling them, stern action will be taken,” he added.