KUALA LUMPUR, July 8 – Khairy Jamaluddin clarified today that social health insurance is one of various health financing proposals that will be included in his White Paper on health care reform.
At a forum in Singapore last month, the health minister suggested introducing a social health insurance scheme in Malaysia, where contributions into the fund would be on a sliding scale based on income and waived or fully subsidised for low-income earners.
“I said it’s one of the solutions, not that we’ll do it,” Khairy told a press conference here today, when CodeBlue asked if he was proposing a mandatory social health insurance scheme and what would be the proposed payroll deduction rate.
“I said if we continue with the current health financing mechanism, which is already insufficient, we will not be able to bear the costs of treatment for Malaysians in the next 10 years.
“Whether we increase allocations from the Finance Ministry or look at other options – so that (social health insurance) is one of the options. But it’s still being discussed and definitely, it will be a topic for the White Paper that will be tabled in Parliament.”
Galen Centre for Health and Social Policy chief executive Azrul Mohd Khalib suggested at a recent conference organised by BFM that payroll deductions – akin to contributions made by private sector employers and workers to the Employees Provident Fund (EPF), the Employment Insurance System (EIS), and the Social Security Organisation (Socso) – can be used to pay for a national health insurance scheme.
He said that everyone must be able to contribute to the social health insurance fund, including the bottom 40 per cent (B40) of income earners, pointing out that less than 10 per cent of workers in the country pay income tax.