Currency depreciation has minimal impact on getting medicines, says Health Minister


TANJONG KARANG: The current depreciation of the ringgit only has a minimal impact on the purchase of medicines from abroad, says Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad.

He said this because the ministry has implemented hedging methods to avoid conducting medicine acquisitions at high prices.

ALSO READ: Malaysia's ringgit fall is concerning but economic fundamentals strong, PM says

"In any procurement, we implemented the hedging strategy, meaning we made purchases in advance to avoid being affected by fluctuating currencies. So we buy and 'lock in' early. "Because of that, even though our currency has depreciated a little in the last couple of days, the actual (purchase of medicines from abroad) is paid at the price we have 'locked in',” he said.

Dzulkefly said this to reporters after the handing over of the Tanjong Karang Dental Clinic Construction Project to the Health Ministry here on Saturday (Feb 24).

Dr Dzulkefly said the current low exchange rates also have a positive impact, especially on the medical tourism sector, as more patients from abroad will seek healthcare treatment in the country.

ALSO READ: Ringgit ends lower vs US dollar, rises vs major currencies

Earlier, in his speech, Dzulkefly said construction of the Tanjong Karang Dental Clinic, on a 1.21-hectare site next to Tanjong Karang Hospital, began on June 15, 2020, and was completed in December last year at a cost of about RM13 million.

"This new building houses a primary dental clinic, an orthodontic specialist unit and the Kuala Selangor District Dental Health Office.

"This clinic is equipped with eight dental chairs, namely five primary dental chairs and three dental chairs for the orthodontic unit as well as an intraoral x-ray room and a dental laboratory for the preparation of dental prostheses,” he said.

He said the clinic would begin operation on March 4. - Bernama

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