KUALA LUMPUR, April 11 – Health Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa yesterday held a meeting with state executive councillors from all states in charge of health to deliberate the allocation of funds in the 2023 Budget and to address concerns raised in the Health White Paper.
In a statement today, Dr Zaliha said the Ministry of Health (MOH) provided details on the 2023 Budget Analysis and the allocation of funds for the MOH, which received the second-highest increase in allocation under the 2023 Budget.
In February, Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim announced an allocation of RM36.3 billion for the MOH in Budget 2023, maintaining the previous administration’s commitment to health.
“I want to emphasise that the allocation set by the unity government was made after conducting detailed research on the needs and interests of the people in each state in line with the concept of Malaysia Madani. It is the responsibility of every state government to ensure that the allocation provided is used optimally to meet the needs of the people,” Dr Zaliha said.
It is unclear why a presentation on the 2023 Federal Budget was conducted during the meeting with state health excos, given that state health programmes, such as the multiple programmes under the Selangor state government, are funded through the state’s annual budget.
State health departments are all overseen by the federal MOH and are not under the jurisdiction of state governments.
During the meeting held in Putrajaya, matters regarding the Health White Paper, MOH’s expenditure and development projects, and the Agenda Nasional Sihat Malaysia (ANMS) were also raised. However, no specific details were disclosed regarding the issues discussed.
Dr Zaliha urged state excos to take an “active role” in the realisation of the Health White Paper, which is expected to be tabled in Parliament in June.
While the Health White Paper may propose some initiatives that come under the jurisdiction of state governments, the document is not under the purview of state legislatures, but Parliament.