Why Cut NCD Budget? Chronic Disease Exists During Covid: Mukhriz

Mukhriz Mahathir asks MOH to increase the budget for research and technical support and to give it to the Institute of Medical Research (IMR) Malaysia, instead of cutting it.

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 9 — Mukhriz Mahathir questioned the Health Ministry today for cutting allocations to treat non-communicable diseases (NCDs), as he stressed that the Covid-19 pandemic doesn’t mean there are no chronic illnesses.

The Jerlun MP, during his debate on the Ministry of Health’s (MOH) 2021 budget at the committee stage today, highlighted the budget cuts for radiotherapy and oncology from RM328.7 million for the year 2020 to RM136.4 million for next year, as well as for cardiothoracic with a budget cut from RM180.5 million to RM60.1 million.

“I see this as worrying as I have mentioned during my debate at the policy stage the other day that, although we are facing a Covid-19 crisis, that doesn’t mean that other diseases just disappear,” Mukhriz said at the Dewan Rakyat.

“This budget is not helpful because although the total has been increased, but the allocation for individual diseases, we see it being reduced.”

Under Budget 2021, there has been a new RM1.4 billion allocation under financial commitment for private concession for medical lab and stores, unlike 2020 when there was no allocation as such.

“What is the purpose of these private concessions for medical labs and stores? Asking for the details on this allocation,” the Jerlun MP said.

Mukhriz also asked for the reasons why the budget for pharmacy and supplies under public health has been cut from RM1.1 billion to RM284.5 million.

On top of that, Mukhriz urged MOH to increase the budget for research and technical support and to give it to the Institute of Medical Research (IMR) Malaysia. Under MOH’s Budget 2021, the allocation for research and technical support has been cut from RM426.9 million in 2020 to RM411.8 million in 2021.

“Previously, IMR was a research institute famous in ASEAN and they are the ones who conducted research on various tropical diseases. Now, they would need as much help as possible.”

Despite the numerous questions posed by MPs, including from the government backbench, and apparently unsatisfactory replies by Deputy Health Minister Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali, the Dewan Rakyat approved MOH’s budget at the committee stage in a voice vote.

You may also like