Budget 2021 is bad for our mental health


  • Letters
  • Tuesday, 10 Nov 2020

Mental health services are needed now more than ever in this Covid-19 crisis – this is not the time to cut funding for such services. — 123rf.com

Mental health is described as the shadow pandemic of the Covid-19 crisis, bringing wide-ranging, adverse mental health consequences to many people. Amidst a surge in Covid-19 cases in Malaysia, hitting a record 1,755 infections on Nov 6, 2020, demand for mental health services is likely to soar during and after this pandemic.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has called for governments to increase investment in mental health services and programmes. Given this context, it is shocking that psychiatry and mental health services in the Health Ministry observed a significant reduction in monetary allocation in Budget 2021, decreasing by 9.1% (RM31mil), from RM344mil in 2020 to RM313mil in 2021. This is the lowest amount allocated since 2017 and the steepest budget cut this area of healthcare has experienced over the last decade.

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suicide , healthcare , funding

   

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