KUALA LUMPUR: The fee structure at the Health Ministry’s public healthcare facilities will be reviewed, the White Paper on Health has revealed.
The 57-page document released in the Dewan Rakyat said the fee structure will be reviewed so that it is in line with a patient’s income level.
The White Paper said this will ensure that low-income households can afford health services.
“The low fee rate at public healthcare facilities is a well-cherished feature of the healthcare system, where the public are given access to the healthcare system at an affordable cost,” it said.
However, the paper noted that the fee structure – which is the same for all – has created a disparity especially when it comes to high-income households.
“For the sustainability of healthcare expenditure, the fee imposed on public healthcare will be reviewed so that it is compatible with affordability,” it said.
“Nevertheless, the safety net for low-income households will be maintained,” it added.
A health benefits package will also be established, which will list healthcare and medicine services which will be accessible at an affordable rate.
The package is expected to cover aspects such as promotive and preventive medicine services from primary healthcare to hospitals.
The White Paper said the package would ensure that the health and financial burden are cross-subsidised.
“The reform strategy will contribute to less out-of-pocket expenditure and reduce detrimental health spending,” it said.
The health benefit package will be funded through a non-profit healthcare fund,which will be funded by the government.
“The fund might also include contributions from individuals and donors in the future,” it said.
There have been calls from healthcare groups for the RM1 outpatient and RM5 specialist care fee at Health Ministry facilities to be reviewed.
Former health minister Khairy Jamaluddin said in written parliament reply on July 19,2022, that the fee is no longer sustainable.
He said the government’s healthcare expenditure increased by 190% from RM12.6bil in 2006 to RM36.6bil in 2021.
– The Star