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Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Kampar MP scoffs at Najib’s healthcare budget promises

Ko-Chung-Sen-healthcare

PETALING JAYA: A DAP MP today slammed the government over the RM27 billion allocation for healthcare in Budget 2018, saying the cut in funds would lead to longer queues and lower quality service in the coming year.
Dr Ko Chung Sen, said in his budget speech, Prime Minister Najib Razak had made a long list of promises, including RM2.5 billion for medical supplies, and another RM2 billion for new hospitals and wards with a total capacity of 1,100 beds.
However, Dr Ko said that a closer look at the budget itself showed that the allocation for new hospitals was in fact reduced from RM210,221,849 in 2017 to RM179,900,200 in 2018.
“A reduction of RM30 million and probably just enough for 100 new hospital beds,” he said in a statement today.
Likewise, the allocation for pharmacy and supplies was slashed by some RM65 million from RM1,292,761,700 in 2017 to RM1,227,710,200 in 2018.
“The allocation was much higher at RM1,595,601,600 in 2016,” Ko added.
Referring to the “triple whammy” of Malaysia’s increasing population, its ageing society and the economic slowdown, he said government hospitals and clinics were expecting more patients than ever.
He said the population was expected to increase by 1.32% to more than 32 million next year, which meant hospitals would need 800 new beds to maintain a ratio of two beds per 1,000 people.
“The cost of 800 new hospital beds will be more than RM800 million,” he added.
Likewise, he said, an ageing society meant an older population with more health problems, while the weakening economy had resulted in a 20% to 30% drop in business at private hospitals.
“These patients will instead be treated in government hospitals.”
Ko said instead of cutting allocations and “talking wishfully” of quality healthcare, the government needed to increase the funds for medical supplies and hospitals just to maintain the same standard of care.
“It is time for the people to see through the rhetoric and empty talk of Prime Minister Najib.
“We can only really improve the health service by cutting corruption and improving the economy to get real funding increases for new medicine and hospitals,” he said. - FMT

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