KUALA LUMPUR, April 4 – The Ministry of Health (MOH) said it would consider exempting health care charges for less affluent Orang Asli and other indigenous people.
An exemption of charges for other health services may be considered under Paragraph 16 (13) of the Fees (Medical) Order 1982 for indigenous communities in the country.
“The government is always concerned about the health of Malaysians and strives to reduce the financial burden faced by patients from the B40 (bottom 40 per cent) group,” Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin mentioned in a written Dewan Negara reply on March 28.
Khairy noted that the government has provided various benefits and medical facilities to these groups, including the indigenous communities.
Indigenous people who receive health services at MOH facilities are exempted from outpatient and inpatient charges in Class 3 Ward, Khairy explained.
Senator Ajis Sitin had asked the health minister to state whether MOH intends to amend the Fees Act to enable the indigenous community to get exemption from health examination fees at public health care facilities.
“Be aware that the indigenous people are at the bottom of the B40 income category and have no regular economic activity,” Ajis Sitin mentioned in his Dewan Negara question.
“The fees charged by MOH are very burdensome for them.”
According to the existing Fees Act, indigenous people are only exempted from paying Class 3 Ward admission charges and outpatient clinic registration fees.
The indigenous community in Malaysia, including those in Borneo states, are still suffering from poor health infrastructure facilities and scarcity of medical specialists.