SHAH ALAM, Nov 13 – The Selangor state government has proposed an RM10 million cut to its Iltizam Selangor Sihat (ISS) programme in Budget 2024 due to poor utilisation by just 7 per cent of beneficiaries.
The state’s Budget 2024 tabled by Selangor Menteri Besar Amirudin Shari in the state legislative assembly last Friday reduced the allocation for ISS to RM35 million next year from RM45 million this year.
“This year, it’s RM35 million because last year, it [the funding] was not fully utilised. So, I wouldn’t say that the amount goes down so that the recipients’ benefits will be lower,” Selangor Public Health and Environment state executive councillor Jamaliah Jamaluddin told CodeBlue in an interview here.
“The reason why is we actually got extra funding. Although the allocation is slightly lower than last year, we actually improved the benefits of Iltizam Selangor Sihat.”
Amirudin announced in his budget speech that the ISS programme for the bottom 40 per cent (B40) would be expanded with a new hospitalisation benefit of up to RM10,000 annually at select panel hospitals.
ISS policyholders are also eligible for basic treatment and vaccination benefits totalling RM500 for households and RM250 for individuals annually at panel clinics across the state.
Besides that, the state government proposed retaining additional ISS benefits like the critical illness benefit of RM5,000 and natural death benefit of RM5,000 for next year.
Jamaliah said the Selangor state government intends to ensure the smooth running of the new hospitalisation benefit under ISS.
Amirudin told reporters that the list of panel hospitals for the in-patient hospitalisation scheme under ISS will be announced early next year.
“They are hospitals that registered under the Skim Peduli Sihat (now ISS) previously. And of course, there are certain things that we have to discuss with the hospitals. We will announce the list as soon as February or March,” Amirudin said at a press conference held after tabling Budget 2024.
Even though Jamaliah has yet to allocate an amount for the promotion of ISS to boost uptake rates, she held that the Selangor state government is prioritising the advertising of the programme.
State assemblymen and grassroot level leaders, such as local councillors and village chiefs, will be promoting the programme in the community.
Jamaliah stated that elected representatives’ service centres (pusat khidmat) will also be participating in the advertising and promotion of ISS.
“Most importantly, there will be engagement from the pusat khidmat because usually B40 or families in need will try to get in touch with the pusat khidmat for help.”
The state executive councillor previously told CodeBlue in an interview that as of last month, only 7 per cent of more than 98,000 beneficiaries have utilised ISS benefits, which she attributed to lack of awareness.