Health Ministry gets RM1.5bil to help curb Covid-19

KUALA LUMPUR: The government has allocated a total of RM1.5bil to the Health Ministry to contain the spread of Covid-19.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said RM1bil from the allocation would be used to procure equipment and services, including getting specialist services from the private sector.

He also said that all insurance, including takaful plans, would create a special RM8mil fund to fork out a RM300 screening cost for policyholders to take the Covid-19 test at private hospitals or laboratories ordered by the ministry.

“Insurance companies and takaful family insurance will also offer postponement of premium payment or three months’ donation for contributors whose incomes were affected as a result of this outbreak,” he said.

“Doctors, nurses and other members of the medical staff who are involved directly in managing and containing the outbreak will also see their allowances increased from RM400 to RM600 monthly from April 1 until the outbreak ends.”

The government had agreed to give this group of professionals a RM400 special allowance when the first economic stimulus package was made earlier.

“I am aware under such a crucial situation currently, health workers are working under a lot of pressure and are tired. But they continue to persevere and continue to embrace these challenges,” he said.

Meanwhile, the B40 group which is insured under the mySalam plan will also receive RM50 per day up to 14 days as loss of income benefit if they are quarantined as persons under investigation for Covid-19.

Currently, this benefit is confined to those who are diagnosed with any of the 45 critical illnesses.

Fomca president Datuk Paul Selvaraj said the allocation would help increase the Health Ministry’s capacity to deal with the crisis.

“Hopefully, more testings can be done as more equipment and services will be added and enhanced. This will increase the capacity of the ministry to do more,” he said.

Selvaraj said the special allowance for the frontliners was appreciated.

He said private hospitals, especially government-linked companies, should set up a fund to support government efforts to contain the disease.

“Some private hospitals have contributed ventilators and taken in some patients but more needs to be done. More hospitals need to come on board,” he said.

The Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) welcomed the government’s allocation to enhance resources and capability of the nation’s healthcare to combat the pandemic.

“The increase in allowances for healthcare workers directly involved in managing and containing the outbreak is also much appreciated.

“We look forward to a smooth implementation,” said MMA president Dr N. Ganabaskaran.

He said MMA was also pleased there were allocations for the B40 and M40 groups as the Prime Minister promised that no one would be left behind.

“We hope these allocations would help tide over Malaysians who may be facing a loss in income during this time due to the MCO,” he said.
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