Minister: Peka B40 Won’t Overwhelm Public Health Facilities

Peka B40 relies on private general practitioners (GPs) to conduct health screenings.

KUALA LUMPUR, April 9 — The Ministry of Health (MOH) said today its Peka B40 programme will not increase congestion at MOH facilities because it aims to conduct most health screenings at private clinics.

Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad said the first benefit of the health programme for the bottom 40 percent (B40) of income earners aged 50 and above was health screenings at private clinics registered as Klinik Peka B40.

“Besides that, for areas without private clinics, health screenings can be conducted at MOH health clinics,” Dzulkefly told Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii in a written parliamentary reply today.

“Individuals with abnormal screening results will be referred to health clinics or MOH hospitals for further treatment,” he added. “The increase of patients at these MOH facilities will not burden MOH services as a whole.”

The health minister claimed last month that 95 percent of private general practitioners (GPs) supported the Peka B40 programme, amid criticism from the Federation of Private Medical Practitioners Associations of Malaysia (FPMPAM) that wanted higher payments for GPs to conduct the screenings.

He had confirmed that the government would pay GPs RM40 for patients’ first visit and RM20 for the follow-up visit, even though FPMPAM previously demanded a single payment of RM65 to cover both visits regardless of the test results.

Dzulkefly said today the Peka B40 pilot would be launched in the middle of the month for registered Bantuan Sara Hidup (BSH) cash aid recipients and their spouses aged 50 and above.

“At the moment, MOH is finalising all the details of implementation, including various promotion and publicity efforts whether in print, electronic, or social media, as well as face-to-face information sessions to encourage the participation of private general practitioners in Klinik Peka B40, besides encouraging the B40 to check their eligibility as Peka B40 recipients.”

Dzulkefly estimated 800,000 participants for the Peka B40 pilot programme that provides free health screenings like blood and urine tests to check blood sugar and cholesterol levels, as well as breast and prostate exams for women and men; aid to purchase medical devices; incentives to complete cancer treatment at MOH hospitals; and transport aid to get treatment at MOH hospitals.

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