IPOH: Human Resources Minister M. Kulasegaran (pic) said the Socso board had made the decision, to not provide subsidised dialysis for those who contributed less than 24 months continuously, without his knowledge.
"Subsequently when I came to know about it, had discussions, and ordered Socso to cancel the new directive, and revert back to the original procedure that has been practised for the past 20 years.
"The decision was made without my knowledge, and some had said that it is the minister who ordered it, but that is not the case," he told reporters after a walkabout at the Thaipusam celebrations leading to the Sri Subramaniar Temple in Gunung Cheroh here Saturday (Feb 8).
Socso is the Social Security Organisation.
Also present were Deputy Health Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye, and state executive councillor A. Sivanesan.
Kulasegaran was asked to comment on Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong's statement urging him (Kulasegaran) to break his silence on the tighter guidelines set by Socso for subsidised dialysis.
It was reported previously that Socso had decided to impose new conditions that could limit access or deny many contributors from receiving free dialysis treatment.
According to a circular sighted by The Star, one of the new criteria included was that the contributors must have made at least 24 months of continuous contributions, compared to 12 months prior to this.
Kulasegaran added that dialysis is not one of the provisions under the Socso Act, because its (Socso) sustaining power is also important.
"But we are happy that people like Dr Lee, whose ministry can provide the service (dialysis) with hospitals found everywhere in the country, and Socso will supplement," said Kulasegaran,
"We will assist those who are working, and have contributed 12 months consecutively.
Dr Lee said he welcomed the reverted decision by Socso with the assistance from the minister.
"For those who are unable to get support from Socso, it will fall back on the Health Ministry," he said, adding that the decision was good news, especially for the B40 group.
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