The year 2019 marks the second time that the ruling government, Pakatan Harapan, has presented the national budget to the people. The Budget 2020 announcement, which began at 4.00pm last Friday, was presented by the Minister of Finance, Lim Guan Eng.
The Budget 2020 presentation was themed, “Prospering Together: Driving Inclusive Growth towards High-income Economy.”
The following, in essence, are the key takeaways from Budget 2020 with regards to the healthcare sector:
- Allocating a sum of RM25 million to the Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC) for the purpose of strengthening Malaysia’s position as the destination of choice for health tourism amongst ASEAN countries, particularly in the fields of oncology, cardiology and fertility treatment.
- Revisiting the 1955 Employment Act by the Malaysian government, including the increase of maternity leave days from the current 60 days to 90 days effective from the year 2021.
- Allocating a sum of RM1.6 million for the development of new government hospitals, as well as the upgrade of existing government hospitals. This includes Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital in Klang, Kampar Hospital in Perak, as well as Labuan Hospital and Queen Elizabeth II Hospital in Sabah.
- Allocating a sum of RM319 million for the development and upgrade of medical clinics, dental clinics and quarters facilities. The locations involved include Setiu, Sungai Petani, Cameron Highlands, Kudat and Sungai Simunjan.
- Allocating a sum of RM227 million for the upgrade of existing medical equipment.
- Allocating a sum of RM95 million for the modification of infrastructure and medical facilities.
- Allocating a sum of RM60 million for the provision of pneumococcal vaccines to children. Each pneumococcal vaccine currently costs approximately RM325 per dose.
- Allocating a sum of RM59 million to increase the number of ambulances, as well as upgrading existing ambulances with the aid of ambulance-related Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO’s).
- Allocating a sum of RM31 million for the upgrade of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) facilities, which include the electronic medical record (EMR) project.
- Allocating a sum of RM5 million for mobile clinics to ease the provision of treatment for people living in rural areas, especially the Orang Asli community.
- Expanding the ‘MySalam’ programme to people who have been classified as bearers of critical illnesses. As compensation, each patient will receive RM8,000 in cash. For patients being treated in government hospitals, a sum of RM50 can be claimed for a maximum duration of up to 14 days.
- The expansion of the ‘MySalam’ programme includes coverage extensions for 45 critical illnesses, which include terminal diseases and ‘poliomyelitis’, individuals aged 65 and above, as well as individuals who earn a gross annual income of below RM100,000.
- Lowering the age limit for members of the Peduli Kesihatan (PEKA) program from 50 to 40 years old and above.
- The Employees Provision Fund (EPF) will be providing an incentive of RM10,000 to couples who are looking to undergo fertility treatment procedures such as an in vitro fertilisation (IVF).
- Providing tax exemption of RM6,000 for people who are looking to undergo fertility treatment.
- The government is also contemplating to allow the withdrawal of EPF savings before the minimum retirement age for coverage of medical treatments which is in line with EPF’s terms and conditions, and not tax penalty deductible.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.