Budget 2024: More Funds For Digital Health Records, Preventive Care

The government is allocating RM150 million to improve MOH’s IT systems and a minimum of RM130 million for preventive health initiatives, including women’s cervical cancer screening, Form 4 teens’ thalassemia screening, and free pertussis vaccination for pregnant women.

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 13 – The Ministry of Health’s (MOH) record-breaking allocation of RM41.22 billion in Budget 2024 will include allocations to expand the use of digital health records and further promote preventive health care.

Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim today announced that the government is allocating RM150 million to maintain and expand information technology (IT) systems under the MOH, including the implementation of Clinic Management System Subscription (CCMS) in 100 klinik kesihatan (health clinics), covering rural and community clinics as well.

“Only three per cent of the nation’s health clinics are equipped with digital health records. Digital records are crucial for quickly accessing patient data and can be shared across all government health care facilities,” Anwar said when presenting Budget 2024.

In a separate statement, Health Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa stressed that digital records are vital for quick patient data access and sharing among government health care facilities. This improves the work process for MOH frontline staff and reduces patient waiting times.

Earlier this year, CodeBlue reported that Selayang Hospital’s electronic medical record (EMR) system had not been upgraded, causing multiple processes to become manual. Doctors pointed out that this manual process led to delays and compromised patient care.

It was also reported that Hospital Kuala Lumpur (HKL), one of the country’s largest and busiest hospitals, handles up to 16,000 medical records manually every day.

Anwar further announced that the government is allocating a minimum of RM130 million to intensify disease prevention activities and the Agenda Nasional Malaysia Sihat, including health screenings, newborn screenings, and vaccinations for pregnant women.

Dr Zaliha said the preventive health activities include a cervical cancer screening programme for women, aimed at early intervention and treatment for precancerous conditions. 

The budget will also cover a thalassemia screening initiative for 16-year-old Form Four adolescents, early detection programmes for hearing problems and congenital heart disease among newborns to prevent complications, and free pertussis (whooping cough) vaccination for all pregnant women to protect infants in their first six months from this disease.

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