KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 11 — The Ministry of Health (MOH) has spent RM1.075 billion from a special Covid-19 allocation and its own existing allocations, as of October 10, to manage the Covid-19 epidemic.
The Ministry of Finance (MOH) gave MOH RM1 billion this year to deal with the public health crisis.
“As of October 10, MOH has spent a total of RM1.075 billion, which also includes the ministry’s existing allocation for the purchase of equipment, medical supplies, consumables, personal protective equipment (PPE), reagents and test kits, as well as other services in an effort to combat the Covid-19 pandemic,” Health Minister Dr Adham Baba said in a written parliament reply on November 9.
“Of that amount, MOH has spent RM194 million to perform Covid-19 tests involving the purchase of reagents and test kits, sample delivery, as well outsourcing of private laboratory services,” Dr Adham added.
Malaysia is currently facing the third wave of the Covid-19 epidemic, which health authorities reportedly believe will take nearly a year to contain. The federal government has allocated RM1 billion in Budget 2021 to manage the coronavirus epidemic, including to purchase reagents, test kits, and protective gear, among others.
Kuala Kedah MP Dr Azman Ismail had asked MOH to state the expenses related to Covid-19, such as the amount of funds used by the ministry to conduct Covid-19 tests and the amount of additional Covid-19 allowances paid to MOH frontliners.
MOH also stated that frontliners, including health care workers involved directly in managing and combating Covid-19, were given a special monthly allowance of RM400 starting March this year. The amount was increased to RM600 from April 2020.
As of October 31, MOH has spent RM246 million to pay the special Covid-19 allowance to the country’s public health care frontliners.
However, MOH did not give a breakdown for the rest of the RM1 billion that was spent on Covid-19 pandemic in the country.