Budget 2023: KJ welcomes funding, says Health Ministry will focus on five areas

PETALING JAYA: The increased funding for the Health Ministry is a much-needed investment, says Khairy Jamaluddin.

The Health Minister said this is to ensure that the public remains healthy and has access to high quality healthcare and is able to contribute to economic development.

In reaction to Budget 2023, Khairy said the ministry would focus on five areas.

This includes strengthening healthcare and wellness programmes; improving and repairing healthcare facilities; increasing the efficacy of treatment; replacing worn out equipment, and digitalising the healthcare system.

The ministry, which was one of the biggest beneficiaries for Budget 2023 saw a 11.51% increase in allocation from RM32.4bil under Budget 2022 to RM36.139bil in the fiscal spending plan tabled on Friday (Oct7).

The Health Ministry’s allocation accounted for 9.71% of the total RM372.3bil allocated under the Supply Bill 2023.

Of the allocation, RM31.50bil will be spent on operating expenditure while RM4.639bil is earmarked for development expenditure.

Khairy said a big portion of the allocation for the Health Ministry, which amounts to RM11.81bil (37.51%), will go into the medical programme and RM5.49bil (17.42%) will be channelled for public health.

In addition, RM4.9bil has been allocated for strengthening the capacity of public healthcare services including the procurement of medicines, reagents, vaccines and consumables.

Khairy said Budget 2023 also focused on strengthening healthcare services to ensure that the physical and mental wellbeing of the Malaysian Family is taken care of and no one is left behind.

“A total of RM34mil has been allocated for the setting up of the National Centre of Excellence for Mental Health to step up services for mental health,” he said.

Aside from that, another RM25mil has been allocated for rare diseases and a trust fund was also established for this purpose.

A total of RM420mil has been allocated for the repairs of dilapidated hospitals and clinics, Khairy said, adding that repair works will begin immediately at facilities across the country, especially in Sabah and Sarawak.

Another RM1.8bil has been allocated for the construction of new health clinics, hospitals and facilities.

This includes the Maran Hospital in Pahang, a women’s and children’s wing for Melaka Hospital and five new health clinics in Linggi, Sepupuk, Penampang, Bagan Serai and USJ1.

Khairy also welcomed a slew of other initiatives such as the RM500 one-off payment for the Cahayamata Keluarga Malaysia scheme for B40 mothers giving birth in 2023; the increase in the rate for the Rancangan Makanan Tambahan (RMT) programme; RM11mil allocation for subsidies on mammogram test and cervical cancer screening; RM80mil for the Peka B40 health scheme, and another RM80mil for the Socso health screening programme.

Income tax relief of up to RM1,000 will also be expanded to dental screening and treatment for spouses and children, and a tax exemption will also be given on import duty for nicotine therapy.

Khairy noted that Budget 2023 reflects the government’s commitment by taking healthcare into account in almost every policy across ministries and agencies.

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