KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 13 — The government has allocated RM200 million for the outsourcing of patients from Ministry of Health (MOH) hospitals to military, university, and private hospitals under Budget 2024.
Prime Minister and Finance Minister Anwar Ibrahim said the outsourcing exercise would help reduce congestion in public hospitals under the MOH.
Health Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa, in a separate statement, said the outsourcing of patients to private hospitals will cover several medical services, including surgical, non-surgical, and diagnostic imaging services.
“This decision is a continuation of the Special Task Force on Agency Reform (STAR) initiative to reduce patient congestion in MOH hospitals,” Dr Zaliha said.
Anwar also said the Madani Medical Scheme – which provides fully subsidised treatment for acute conditions at private general practitioner (GP) clinics for the low-income – would be allocated RM100 million for its nationwide expansion to benefit 700,000 people.
The mySalam health protection scheme, which provides critical illness and hospitalisation benefits, will be continued for another two years, while RM50 million has been allocated for claims under the scheme for medical devices like heart stents.
“Malaysia has yet to fulfil the ratio of one doctor for every 400 patients. Therefore, to meet that goal, health care facilities will continue to be improved to reduce congestion,” Anwar said when tabling Budget 2024 in Parliament today.
He listed several new development projects that would be started next year.
These include the launch of phase one of the building of the University of Islamic Sciences Malaysia’s teaching hospital complex in Kota Tinggi, costing RM938 million.
Another RM175 million was allotted for an additional pathology block at the Raja Perempuan Zainab II Hospital in Kelantan.
The government also proposed RM150 million to fund an additional building for the emergency and trauma department for the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Hospital under UPM in Serdang, Selangor, as well as five new public health clinics in Rantau, Negeri Sembilan; Kuala Tahan, Pahang; Kuala Jengal, Terengganu; and Pulau Mantanani, Sabah.
Early works for the building of Sultanah Aminah II Hospital in Johor Bahru, Johor, will also start next year.
The prime minister also held that the government is supportive of the Sarawak state government’s intent to build a cancer institute in the state.
Furthermore, RM300 million was earmarked to refurbish 400 dilapidated health clinics that still have wooden structures and obsolete wiring.
Another RM766 million was set aside to procure medical equipment at MOH hospitals to replace “beyond economic repair” equipment, as well as to meet the needs of new service disciplines.
“This includes RM200 million for procurement to ensure health care services are alert in responding to emergency calls,” said Anwar.