KUALA LUMPUR, May 19 – The national Peka B40 health screening programme approved about seven of 10 applications for RM1,000 incentives in completing cancer treatment last year.
In 2021, a total of 1,646 completing cancer treatment incentive (CCTI) applications were received by the Peka B40 programme run by ProtectHealth Corporation Sdn Bhd, a company fully owned by the Ministry of Health.
Of that, 1,169 claims, or 71 per cent, were approved for Peka B40 recipients. Peka B40’s report did not mention why the remaining 29 per cent of CCTI applications last year were rejected.
“Our intention is to approve all.”
As at end 2021, Peka B40 has paid out RM808,000 for the CCTI benefit for 4,957 beneficiaries since the start of the programme in 2019.
The most common types of cancer groups among CCTI beneficiaries last year were breast cancer (29.5 per cent), followed by the digestive system (21 per cent), female genital (13.5 per cent) as well as ear, nose and throat (ENT) (13.3 per cent).
“There are various types of cancer treatment undertaken by the beneficiaries who applied for CCTI,” said Peka B40’s 2021 report published recently.
“Most of the beneficiaries received more than one type of cancer treatment. The most common type of treatment was chemotherapy (37.0 per cent), followed by surgery (25.0 per cent) and radiotherapy (13.7 per cent).”
The CCTI-approved recipients comprised 40.2 per cent Malays (470), 21.5 per cent ethnic Chinese (251), 19.3 per cent indigenous Sabahans (226), 10.3 per cent indigenous Sarawakians, 7.1 per cent Indians (83), and 0.3 per cent indigenous people (4) from Peninsular Malaysia.
CCTI aims to encourage beneficiaries to complete their cancer treatment, providing RM1,000 cash to beneficiaries who finish their cancer therapies. This benefit is paid per diagnosis.
“If an individual has two types of unrelated cancers, he or she is eligible for two claims,” the Peka B40 report stated.
The money will be given in two payments. The first payment of RM300 will be given at the initial phase, whereas the second payment of RM700 will be given after a beneficiary completes at least two visits in nine months.
Beneficiaries must complete a health screening under the Peka B40 programme first before applying for the CCTI benefit. The Peka B40 programme is targeted at the bottom 40 per cent (B40) of income earners.
Peka B40’s report mentioned that in 2021, the highest recorded CCTI applications were 203 in April, whereas only 58 CCTI applications were reported in October, with an average of 137 applications per month.
This is relatively lower than the 336 CCTI applications that were recorded in November and December 2019. In October 2020, Peka B40 recorded 353 CCTI applications.
It is important to note that the CCTI application must be made by a doctor from public hospitals. The payment will be made to the beneficiary’s bank account directly by ProtectHealth.
Update: This story was updated in the fourth and fifth paragraphs to add remarks from ProtectHealth Corporation.