KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 24 — Malaysia spent RM2.16 billion on health due to Covid-19 in 2020, comprising 3.2 per cent of RM67.02 billion total health expenditure across public and private sectors.
According to the Ministry of Health’s (MOH) Malaysia National Health Accounts (MNHA) Steering Committee in a presentation tabled on November 3, the bulk of the expenditure on Covid-19 was spent on gross capital formation, amounting to RM507.66 million or 23.5 per cent.
Gross capital formation, or investment, according to the World Bank, comprises outlays on additions to the fixed assets of the economy plus net changes in the level of inventories.
Spending for Covid-19 related treatment was the second-highest expenditure at RM330.24 million (15.3 per cent), followed by governance and health system administration related to Covid-19 at RM316.91 million (14.7 per cent).
Quarantine expenditure amounted to RM281.83 million (13.1 per cent), while spending for Covid-19 testing and contact tracing stood at RM273.54 million (12.7 per cent). Spending on medical goods to adhere to Covid-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs) totalled RM269.95 million (12.5 per cent).
MOH was the main source of Covid-19 health financing in 2020 with RM791.68 million or 36.7 per cent. Expenditure by MOH for the pandemic was channelled via the Covid-19 Fund.
Public non-MOH agencies, comprising the Higher Education Ministry, the Defence Ministry, state governments, and other federal agencies such as the National Disaster Management Agency (NADMA), came in second with a contribution of RM693.63 million (32.1 per cent).
Corporations and non-governmental organisations contributed RM470.25 million and RM108.36 million respectively, while private household out-of-pocket (OOP) expenditure contributed RM75.67 million. Private OOP and corporation expenditure is limited to donations. The rest of the world committed RM18.75 million.
Of the total RM2.16 billion spent on Covid-19 in 2020, about 45.4 per cent of the funds went to the provision and administration of public health programmes that amounted to RM980.27 million.
This was followed by all hospitals with RM509.4 million or 23.6 per cent, institutions providing health-related services at RM349.68 million (16.2 per cent), retail sales and other providers of medical goods at RM172.21 million (8 per cent), and providers of ambulatory health care at RM90.03 million (4.2 per cent).
Malaysia doubled its spending on epidemiological surveillance risk and disease control programmes to RM1.43 billion in 2020 from RM709 million in 2019.
The year 2020 also saw increased health spending in early disease detection programmes — up 39.7 per cent to RM945 million from RM676 million in 2019 — and immunisation programmes, which more than doubled to RM503 million from RM239 million over the same period.
The government also spent RM95 million on preparing for disaster and emergency response programmes and RM84 million on other forms of preventive care that could not be subclassified.
Epidemiological surveillance risk and disease control programmes accounted for 30 per cent of the overall RM4.73 billion spent on preventive care, while the early disease detection programme and immunisation programme formed 20 per cent and 11 per cent of total spending respectively.
Other expenses on preventive care in 2020 included a healthy condition monitoring programme at RM1.06 billion (22 per cent), as well as information, education and counselling programmes at RM612 million (13 per cent).