KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 6 — Penang spent the most on health per capita in 2020 compared to other states in the country at RM3,069 for each person.
This is followed by the Klang Valley (Putrajaya, Kuala Lumpur, and Selangor) with a per capita health expenditure of RM2,498, Melaka at RM2,477 per capita, Perlis (RM2,467 per capita), and Negeri Sembilan (RM2,228 per capita), according to the Ministry of Health’s Malaysia National Health Accounts (MNHA) Steering Committee in a presentation on November 3, 2021.
The remaining states, along with the Federal Territory of Labuan, have a per capita health spending of less than RM2,000 per capita, with Sabah, the country’s second largest state by population, having the lowest per capita health expenditure nationwide at RM1,241.
However, by total amount, Selangor’s health expenditure in 2020 was the biggest at RM13.21 billion, followed by Kuala Lumpur at RM11.08 billion, Johor (RM6.17 billion), Penang (RM5.45 billion), and Sabah (RM4.85 billion).
Putrajaya, Perlis, and Labuan spent less than RM1 billion in 2020, with Labuan spending the least among states at RM164 million.
The per capita values cover both public and private expenditure by the respective states. However, the MNHA noted that the values are not representative of the actual per capita spending for each state, as they include reproportioned health expenditure that cannot be allocated to states (mainly expenditure by private insurance, MOH headquarters, and the Department of Occupational Safety and Health, among others).
Some states also have national referral centres or institutes which receive patients from other states.
Overall, Malaysia’s total health expenditure has been growing each year between 2006 and 2020, more than doubling from RM28.98 billion in 2006 to RM67.02 billion in 2020.
By percentage of GDP, the national health expenditure increased from 3.7 per cent (RM596.78 million) to 4.7 per cent (RM1.42 billion) over the same period. In per capita terms, the country’s health spending rose from RM1,080 in 2006 to RM2,057 in 2020.