KUALA LUMPUR, April 15 – Malaysia’s incidence rate for cancer in children aged six and below is at 6 per 100,000 population, with an estimated 200 to 250 new cancer cases reported each year, Khairy Jamaluddin says.
The health minister, in a written parliamentary reply on March 23 to Klang MP Charles Santiago, said according to the National Cancer Registry Report, a total of 4,408 cancer cases involving children aged six and below had been reported from 2007 until now.
By gender, male children dominated with an incidence of 2.5 per 100,000 population and female children with an incidence of 2 per 100,000 population. By ethnicity, Malays have the highest incidence rate, followed by ethnic Chinese and Indians.
The five main types of cancer among children in this age group are leukaemia, brain and spinal cord tumours, lymphoma, bone cancer, and eye cancer.
On treatment, Khairy said the Fees (Medical) Order 1982 stipulates that all school going Malaysian children under the age of 21 are exempted from outpatient treatment charges and Class 2 wards at all Ministry of Health (MOH) hospitals, including cancer treatment charges.
The same legislation also states that all out-of-school Malaysian children are charged a minimal RM1 fee for outpatient treatment and maximum RM500 for inpatient Class 3 ward.
Malaysian children aged 12 and below, who are out-of-school and categorised as poor, are also exempted from all hospital and Class 3 ward charges.