Budget 2023: Health Ministry proposes six new initiatives

PUTRAJAYA: The Health Ministry has submitted an application for six new initiatives totalling RM3.4bil to the Finance Ministry to be included in Budget 2023, which will be tabled on Oct 7.

Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin (pic) said the application was presented through an engagement session with Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz on Aug 30.

"The six new initiatives proposed are the strengthening of the Healthcare and Wellness programme, with an estimated budget of RM738mil; improvement and repair of the ministry's health facilities (RM791.5mil); and improving the effectiveness of healthcare treatment (RM850mil).

"It also includes the replacement of critical and obsolete medical assets (RM400mil); digitalisation of healthcare services (RM460mil); and appreciation incentives for medical personnel (RM183mil), he told reporters during the "One-Year Achievement as Health Minister" interview here recently.

Khairy said the application to improve and repair the Ministry's healthcare facilities was made because there were 2,732 government clinics in neglected condition, but still operating to provide healthcare services to the public.

"For the Ministry, good health can be achieved through adequate and functioning healthcare facilities.

"It saddens me to witness the conditions of many of our public clinics, particularly those in rural areas, including Sabah and Sarawak.

"Hence, I have requested a special budget from the Finance Ministry to be approved in Budget 2023.

"It includes the upgrading of building infrastructure and replacement of medical equipment," he said.

Khairy said the Health Ministry was extremely grateful to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob and Tengku Zafrul as well as Malaysians as a whole who support the proposal for the ministry’s allocation to be increased to five per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) compared to the current 2.10% of the GDP.

He said the Ministry’s application was rational as it would help provide services to always keep Malaysians healthy and give the best treatment to those who are sick.

"However, the ministry is also aware that if this application is approved, it does not mean we will implement it next year.

"Perhaps, it may take up to five years, and we also understand the country’s financial situation.

"But I feel that this matter can be implemented, for example, through an increase in revenue collection or through re-rationalising the allocation, especially in rationalising the petroleum subsidy to the targeted groups," he said. - Bernama

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