Govt mulls Health Ministry’s request for bigger budget

BERA: The government is prepared to consider increasing the allocation for the Health Ministry (MOH) in Budget 2023 which is expected to be tabled in October, says the Prime Minister.

This is because the MOH is one of the important ministries that deals directly with the people, said Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

“During the recent coordination meeting of the development projects under 12th Malaysia Plan, I was informed that MOH needs to be assisted in the upcoming Budget.

“YB KJ (Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin) has asked for the expenditure to be increased to 5% of the GDP. Right now, it’s 2.5%, there’s another half.

“The EPU (Economic Planning Unit) will look into this. God willingly, there will be at least a slight increase in the Budget this year compared to previous years,” he said when opening the Bera Hospital here yesterday.

The Prime Minister said he understood the need for the higher allocation because Malaysia would be an aged country in 2040, which would lead to high health expenses, reported Bernama.

He also realised that other aged countries had increased their respective health budgets because there was an increase in the number of elderly people admitted to the hospitals.

The construction of Bera Hospital is also proof of the government’s seriousness and commitment in developing and providing quality health services, he added.

“The construction project has been abandoned for a long time due to the failure of the contractor. Alhamdulillah, the hospital is finally ready. I want to congratulate the Health Ministry, Works Ministry and other stakeholders for working together to finish the construction of Bera Hospital,” he said.

Ismail Sabri also expressed his appreciation to the late Sultan Ahmad Shah who was an important figure behind the realisation of the hospital.

Meanwhile, Khairy said an operating theatre (OT) with an estimated cost of RM9mil will be built at Bera Hospital to complement existing facilities.

He added that the operating room will act as a support facility for OT services at Temerloh’s Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Hospital, which he said has reached an optimum level, in turn, easing the hospital’s burden.

“Bera Hospital has a capacity of 40 beds and can be expanded further to accommodate 60 beds in the future.

“In addition, the hospital will also provide out-patient and in-patient care, diagnostic and treatment, medical support services, and non-medical support services,” he said in his speech at the official opening of the hospital.

Khairy said Bera Hospital, approved under the Ninth Malaysia Plan (9MP), began operations on July 1 with the opening of the 24-hour Emergency and Trauma Unit and Patient Assessment Centre.

Khairy said two more health facilities are expected to be completed in Pahang this year, namely the health clinic and quarters in Raub, expected to be completed early next month and the haemodialysis building upgrade at Raub Hospital, expected to be completed in November.

He said the health clinic and quarters in Kampung Temai, Pekan, and the one in Kampung Chegar Perah 6, Kuala Lipis, began operations in July.

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