KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 13 — The Ministry of Health (MOH) allocated RM157.88 million in 2020 to Sabah and Sarawak to replace obsolete medical equipment and add new medical equipment.
The allocation include replacement and procurement of medical equipment such as:
- Haemodialysis machines
- Linear Accelerator (cancer treatment machines)
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
- Intensive care unit (ICU) beds
- Patient monitors
- Powered Air Purifying Respirators (PAPR)
“MOH always cares about the quality of services provided in public hospitals, including those in Sabah and Sarawak, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic,” Health Minister Dr Adham Baba said in a written parliament reply on November 9.
Dr Adham was answering a question raised by Sipitang MP Yamani Hafez Musa, who had asked MOH to state its proposal to replace poor medical equipment in dilapidated public hospitals in Sabah and Sarawak.
Kota Kinabalu MP Chan Foong Hin, during his debate on Budget 2021 at the Dewan Rakyat yesterday, urged Health Minister Dr Adham Baba to give a state breakdown under MOH’s 2021 budget, stressing that Sabah, the country’s poorest state, really needed funding allocations due to the lack of health care facilities and medical professionals.
Recently, Papar MP Ahmad Hassan had asked the government to state how much each hospital in Sabah will get from the RM1 billion Covid-19 allocation in Budget 2021 to overcome the third wave of the Covid-19 epidemic in Malaysia, which will go towards purchasing test kits and protective gear, as well as medicine and equipment for university hospitals, and an RM150 million allocation to the National Disaster Management Agency, among others.
MOH secretary-general Chen Chaw Min told the press recently that the RM843 million Covid-19 Fund allocation for MOH comprised RM475 million for reagents, screening kits, and consumables; RM318 million for personal protective equipment (PPE); and RM50 million for a one-off payment of RM500 to 100,000 frontliners.
MOH’s 2021 budget did not specify any special allocations to Sabah, although 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.