SHAH ALAM, May 19 – Selangor’s health screening programme Selangor Saring covers a wider group of people – not just low-income earners – than the federal government’s Peka B40 health screening scheme.
Selangor state executive councillor for public health Dr Siti Mariah Mahmud said the state screening programme, which begins this Sunday, also examines for more medical conditions, including the country’s top four cancers (colorectal, prostate, cervical, and breast cancers), as well eye diseases.
“The Peka B40 screening programme offers only regular screenings but Saringan Selangor covers more diseases, including the four main cancers in the country, and eye examinations,” Dr Siti Mariah told reporters after the launch of the Selgate Healthcare Centre here today.
“So, our aim is to screen those who consider themselves ‘normal’ and have no diseases, not those who have known diseases where their conditions have been identified.
“Therefore, we are inviting those who may not know that they have a disease, but have risk factors such as their family health history, to come forward so that we can perform an early diagnosis and follow that up with preventive measures because we don’t want to have too many people with comorbidities.”
Selangor Saring offers free health screenings to state residents regardless of income levels for non-communicable diseases like heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, and kidney disease; cancers (colorectal, prostate, cervical, and breast); and eye-related conditions (myopia, glaucoma, and retinal disorders).
The federal Peka B40 programme – which provides free health screenings to those from the bottom 40 per cent (B40), besides additional benefits like subsidies for medical devices – similarly covers tests for chronic conditions with blood cell, blood sugar, cholesterol, kidney function, and urine tests; as well as a clinical breast exam for women and a clinical prostate exam for at-risk men. Peka B40 also provides mental health screenings.
Dr Siti Mariah said Selangor Saring is not intended to compete with Peka B40, but to “supplement” the other health programme.
“The population in Selangor is high – nearly 7 million. Peka B40, yes, people can do that, it’s not a replication. We are supplementing each other.
“In the end, we will still channel B40 patients to Peka B40 as the programme does have benefits that are not provided at the state level, but are offered at the national level,” Dr Siti Mariah said.
When asked if Selangor will share its screening data with ProtectHealth Corporation Sdn Bhd, a Health Ministry-owned company that runs the Peka B40 programme, Dr Siti Mariah said data collected from the Selangor Saring programme is for the state government.
“The data that we will collect is for state consumption so that we know from the total screenings we’ve conducted, how many per cent have hypertension etc – and these are from among people who have not yet been diagnosed with the disease,” said the Selangor exco.
“So, from there, we can already have a projection. If we screen 10,000 people with no known diseases and 10 per cent of them, for example, have diabetes or hypertension, it means that these ‘silent’ patients make up 10 per cent.
“So, that (the data) is for state consumption for us to plan our programmes and policies, moving forward, and for us to work together with the Ministry of Health (MOH) on what we should do.
“Because Selangor is invested in prevention – that’s why we’ve established the Selangor Public Health Advisory Council which will be revealed next week, who will advise the State Health Exco.”