KJ: Public healthcare expenditure to gradually rise

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia’s public healthcare expenditure will gradually be increased to 5% of gross domestic product (GDP), says Khairy Jamaluddin

The Health Minister said Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob had agreed to the move after he was informed that Malaysia’s public healthcare expenditure was at 2.58% of the GDP, which is considered low for an upper middle income country.

“For upper middle income countries, it should have been between 4% and 5% of the GDP.

“When officiating an event in Hospital Bera on Saturday, the Prime Minister agreed that our public healthcare expenditure will be gradually increased till it reaches 5% of the GDP.

“As the Health Minister, I cannot ask for more than what the Prime Minister has committed so far,” said Khairy during the Malaysian Family symposium at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre (PICC) yesterday.

During the symposium, he tabled the achievements by the Health Ministry since he was appointed as the minister nearly a year ago on Aug 26.

According to him, the Health Ministry managed to reduce the number of non-Covid-19 backlog cases from over 57,000 cases to about 4,800.

Khairy said the Covid-19 pandemic had revealed weaknesses in the public healthcare system noting that since 2016, there were no permanent appointments of contract doctors, dental officers and pharmacists.

He said after he raised the issue to the Cabinet and appealed to the Prime Minister, 4,053 permanent positions were subsequently approved last week.

“This is the biggest increase since 2016,” he said.

Meanwhile, Khairy said he was unapologetic over criticisms for being firm during the implementation of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme.

He said the programme was among the best in the world. He also credited the 8.9% GDP growth registered in the second quarter of the year to the government’s assurance of no more lockdowns.

“The GDP growth of 8.9%, the highest in South-East Asia, was driven by investors’ confidence that there will be no more movement control orders,” added Khairy.

On Aug 12, Bank Negara said Malaysia’s economy expanded 8.9% year-on-year in the second quarter of 2022, which was significantly higher than the median expectation of 6.7% growth by a Reuters poll of economists.


Source: The Star



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