Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Health Ministry hoping for bigger allocation in 2014 Budget

The Malay Mail Online
PUTRAJAYA, Aug 27 — The Ministry of Health is confident of receiving a bigger allocation in the 2014 Budget to carry out a variety of important programmes, including the development of infrastructure in hospitals throughout the county.
“We have already put in our request because we need more funding. Our infrastructure in terms of hospital space is still inadequate. There are many hospitals that are overcrowded, so we need to reduce the pressure on those hospitals.
“With a bigger allocation we are also looking for more investment into preventive care at all levels, including at the clinic levels (clinic kesihatan level), as we can optimise care of patients.
“We are committed to increase the budget for preventive health care. The treatment component, even though we are spending 66 per cent, but still not enough. That is the most difficult part of it,” he said at a press conference after launching the Malaysian Health System in Transition (HiT) Country Report, here, today. 
Also present were World Health Organisation (WHO) Representative to Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam and Singapore Dr Graham Harrison, Director, Asia Pacific Observatory on Heath Systems and Policies, WHO Western Pacific Regional Office, Mania Dr Dale Huntington and Director, Division of Family Health Development Ministry of Health and lead author of Malaysia HiT report Toh Puan Dr Safurah Jaafar.
Dr Subramanian said the total health expenditure in 2010 was 4.4 per cent of GDP at RM33,657,000,000 with 55 per cent of total health expenditure spent by the government.
“If we are to increase this to 6.1 per cent GDP which is the average for upper middle income countries internationally, where will we find the funds for this.
“Finding an amicable solution to this question will occupy the whole of the government and other stakeholders in health for the coming review of our nation health system,” he said.
Thus, he said that the ministry was now focusing on increasing public awareness on health issues, especially early detection and prevention of diseases which could save lives or avoid more serious health problems and besides that reduce government expenditure on public health.
According to him, in line with national development, Malaysian life expectancy has also improved, as well as the drastic reduction of maternal, infant and child mortality.
He said, WHO had recognised Malaysia as among countries that provided the best health services to her people.
Commenting on the HiT report, Dr Subramaniam said the report was a comprehensive review of the country’s health system and policy reform, including providing an objective account of the strengths and points out areas that need strengthening in the health system. – Bernama 

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