KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 9 — Papar MP Ahmad Hassan asked the government today to state how much each hospital in Sabah will get from the RM1 billion Covid-19 allocation in Budget 2021.
“How much is the special allocation for each public hospital in Sabah for reagent kit supplies, screening supplies, consumables, personal protective equipment (PPE), hand sanitiser, screening zone facilities, and thermometers?” the Warisan lawmaker from Sabah asked during his debate on Budget 2021 at the Dewan Rakyat today.
“Secondly, from the RM150 million allocation the National Disaster Management Agency (NADMA), how much is the allocation that will be specifically allocated for the purpose of providing facilities for flood victims and in Covid-19 quarantine centres in Sabah?”
According to Budget 2021 that was tabled in Parliament last Friday by Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz, a total of RM1 billion has been allocated to overcome the third wave of the Covid-19 epidemic in Malaysia:
The breakdown of the RM1 billion is as below, which amounts to RM993 billion:
- RM475 million for the purchase of reagents, test kits, and consumables for the Ministry of Health’s (MOH) usage.
- RM318 million to provide PPE and hand sanitisers for MOH frontliners.
- RM150 million to NADMA to coordinate efforts in fighting Covid-19.
- RM50 million for the purchase of equipment, laboratory test supplies, and medicine for university teaching hospitals; and to procure equipment required to resume dental services, virtual clinical services, and preparation of preliminary zone facilities and thermometres at health facilities to meet the standard operating procedures (SOPs).
The government also agreed to continue the Covid-19 special allowance that was started in March, which is RM600 per month for frontliners till the pandemic is successfully addressed.
Moreover, an additional one-off payment of RM500 was agreed to be given to MOH frontliners in Budget 2021, which is expected to benefit around 100,000 medical staff.
Ahmad pointed out that the government should reconsider the amount of the special Covid-19 allowance given to frontliners and to refine it according to their workload and location of their hospital.
“If the government is really concerned about the frontliners, the special allowance of RM600 that is given each month has to be refined, taking into account the different workload according to infection zone,” the Warisan MP said.
Sabah has been reporting the highest percentage of the nation’s Covid-19 cases. Both Sabah and neighbouring Labuan have the highest Covid-19 case incidence rates per 100,000 population in Malaysia, far higher than other states.
Sabah local government and housing minister Masidi Manjun, who is also the Covid-19 spokesperson, previously acknowledged that frontliners are stretched and fatigued as they battle through the surge of Covid-19 cases.