KUALA LUMPUR, July 18 — The Ministry of Health (MOH) has backed AIA Malaysia’s newly launched mental health policy that covers six disorders, including depression.
“This will provide autonomy and reduce mental health patients’ cost burden,” Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad told Tampin MP Hasan Bahrom from Amanah in Parliament during Question Time.
The Malaysian chapter of global insurance company AIA recently launched a feature under its “A-Plus Health” medical plan to cover psychiatric consultation fees, up to RM1,500 annually, for major depressive disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, Tourette Syndrome, and postpartum depression.
Dzulkefly also said his ministry was working on raising awareness about mental health, preventing mental illness, collaborating with non-government organisations, and launching a National Strategic Action Plan Mental Health (2019 – 2025) in September.
According to the minister, 1,001 government health clinics provide early screenings on stress, anxiety, and depression from family medicine experts to treat mental ailments and suicide attempts. This includes teen health clinics that provide counselling.
Psychiatric services are provided in four public mental health institutions and 61 government hospitals nationwide, as well as early screenings for individuals suspected of having mental health problems.
The government will also launch a nationwide campaign on mental health called “Let’s Talk Malaysia” in October to combat stigma towards mental disorders.