KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 7 – The government has announced an allocation of RM36.14 billion for the Ministry of Health (MOH) under Budget 2023, a whopping increase of about 11.5 per cent from RM32.41 billion allocated in Budget 2022.
The 11.5 per cent increment, or RM3.7 billion, marks the biggest percentage of increase for MOH’s budget in the past five years, and is the highest in absolute terms.
“This is among the biggest increases of allocations among ministries,” Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said in a statement.
MOH’s allocation in Budget 2022 was raised by a meagre 1.5 per cent, while MOH’s share in Budget 2021 was up 4.3 per cent. Previous allocations for MOH saw bigger increases in Budget 2020 and Budget 2019 at 6.6 per cent and 7.8 per cent respectively.
From the total of RM36.14 billion allocated in its 2023 budget, MOH will use RM31.5 billion for its operating expenditure and RM4.64 billion for development expenditure.
Of the total RM372.3 billion federal government’s Budget 2023, MOH’s share accounts for 9.7 per cent, similar to MOH’s share in the 2022 budget.
“Generally, MOH’s budget for 2023 will focus on strengthening health and wellness programmes, improving and repairing health care facilities, increasing the effectiveness of health treatments, replacing critical and old medical assets, and digitalising health care services,” Khairy said.
MOH’s RM31.5 billion operating expenditure for next year marks a 12.4 per cent increase (RM3.47 billion) from RM28.03 billion for 2022.
The ministry’s RM4.64 development expenditure for 2023 also represents a 5.9 per cent (RM260.23 million) increase from RM4.38 billion in 2022, but lower from RM4.7 billion allocated in 2021.
Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz announced that a separate RM5 billion would be allocated for the Covid-19 fund.
The government’s earmarked spending of RM372.3 billion for 2023 is the country’s biggest yet in history, topping last year’s record-breaking allocation of RM332.1 billion.
The 2023 budget, announced amid early election speculation, is aimed at rebuilding the nation after the economic fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Of the total, the government has allocated RM272.3 billion for operating expenses, RM95 billion for development expenditure.