KUALA LUMPUR: The free medical services offered by the government through the Madani Medical Scheme have been extended to the whole country starting Sept 15, the Dewan Rakyat was told Tuesday (Sept 19).
Health Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa said the expansion came following an overwhelming response from the B40 households.
"Since this scheme was introduced, more than 130,000 outpatient health treatments for acute cases have been provided through private clinics and 80,000 households have benefited from this scheme.
"The number of treatments given has almost reached 4,000 a day and is increasing. Now, more than 1,300 private clinics have registered and cooperated in this programme," she said when winding up the debate on the Mid-Term Review (MTR) of the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) for the ministry.
Dr Zaliha said the Health Ministry also welcomes private clinics across the country to register as panel clinics of the Madani Medical Scheme and hoped that MPs will help promote the scheme in their respective areas.
The medical scheme is part of the government's initiatives to reduce overcrowding at government hospitals and to assist the B40 group in obtaining acute primary care services or outpatient treatment at nearby private general practitioner (GP) clinics.
Meanwhile, Dr Zaliha said the ministry is working to increase the number of physiotherapists considering the ratio of Ministry of Health physiotherapists to the Malaysian population is 1:17,878, while the ratio of government and private physiotherapists to the Malaysian population is 1:6,800.
"This number is still low and far from the recommendation of the World Health Organisation (WHO) which is one physiotherapist for 2,000 residents and as of Aug 31, there are a total of 1,919 ‘Jurupulih Perubatan Fisioterapi’ and ‘Pegawai Pemulihan Perubatan Fisioterapi’ in the Ministry of Health.
"Among the measures taken to increase the number of physiotherapists is to increase the Diploma in Physiotherapy graduates from the Health Ministry Malaysia Training Institute and in 2022, a total of 76 graduates had completed their studies which is an increase of 46% compared to 52 graduates in 2020," she said.
Dr Zaliha said the ministry also appointed "Jurupulih Perubatan (Physiotherapy)" on a contract basis and as of Aug 31, 207 of them are serving in the ministry. - Bernama