Muhyiddin urges govt not to increase public health facility fees

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KUALA LUMPUR: The government has been urged not defer any increase in fees at public health facilities as the people are already paying more for many other things.


Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said that he understood that the government was facing fiscal constraints and needed to cover government expenses by imposing fees for services provided.

The Pagoh MP said increasing fees at government healthcare facilities would add the burden of the people who are struggling due high inflation, the recent increase in the Overnight Policy Rate (OPR) as well as electricity tariffs.

Muhyiddin said this while debating the Health White Paper in the Dewan Rakyat on Thursday (June 15).

He also urged the government to consider giving fee exemptions to those in the B40 income group.

“However, many Malaysians not under the B40 group have also fallen into poverty due to sudden increases in the cost of living.

“In several studies, including one recently released by the Merdeka Centre, most people feel that their financial situation this year is worse than last year’s – this is not limited to the B40 group alone.

“Therefore, if there is a proposal from the government to raise the treatment charges at public healthcare facilities, I request that it be deferred and reconsidered,” said the Perikatan Nasional chairman.

The Health White Paper, which details healthcare reforms planned over a period of 15 years, was tabled in Parliament on Wednesday (June 14) and said that the ministry was looking to review the fee structure at public healthcare facilities.


However, this would only be done after the National Health Financing Scheme is implemented, which would fully cover those in the B40 group.

On the proposal for strategic purchasing, Muhyiddin agreed that this was among the measures that could ensure sustainable and equitable healthcare financing as well as accelerate the achievement of Universal Health Coverage as suggested by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

“For the foreseeable future, the strategic purchasing program should be given priority, but with some caveats.

“Firstly, healthcare service providers involved must ensure compliance with performance standards set by the government.

Secondly, there must be a comprehensive governance structure to monitor the quality of services provided to ensure they are commensurate with the money spent.

“Thirdly it must result in greater savings in healthcare expenses,” he said.

“However, this White Paper does not detail the entity that will be appointed as the strategic purchaser, which is separate from the functions of the Health Ministry,” said Muhyiddin, urging the Health Ministry to give a full explanation.

– The Star

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