MIRI: In Miri district alone, an estimated 16,000 people are missing out on the Peka B40 and MySalam health incentives schemes introduced by the Federal Government.
Miri MP Dr Michael Teo Yu Keng said on Friday (Jan 10) that the figure was a conservative estimate based on ground surveys and feedback obtained by his PKR office staff.
He said the eligibility age for inclusion into the Peka B40 group (monthly household income of RM3,000 and below) had this year been lowered from 50 and above to 40 and above.
"Those who qualify for this Peka B40 and their spouse qualify for many benefits in terms of health checks and health aids like hearing aids, artificial joints, wheelchairs, cataracts lens and others.
"The MySalam health insurance coverage offers those in B40 who are aged 18 to 55 and their spouse RM8,000 coverage for 36 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.
"Paka B40 is a very important health incentive scheme provided by the Federal Government for the lower-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.
"The government has appointed 13 private clinics to help out with these scheme in Miri. However, we (his MP office) estimated 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 PKR would be using mobile units to go around and facilitate registration for the B40 benefits. These mobile units will also go to remote areas like Long San and Belaga.
"PKR Belaga will prepare manpower to help register as many as possible so that they can secure the B40 health schemes," he said.
Miri has a population of 350,000, and a sizeable portion of them are urban poor. Dr Teo, himself a medical doctor, is PKR branch chairman for Miri.