Budget 2019: Health services get RM2bil increase in allocation, enjoying largest share of budget
The Star November 02, 2018
PETALING JAYA: The Budget 2019 allocation for health services will increase to RM29bil from last year's allocation of RM27bil. This is a 7.8%, or RM2bil, increase from Budget 2018, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said during the tabling of Budget 2019 in Parliament on Friday (Nov 2). This allocation includes a RM10.8bil to restore clinics and hospitals, as well as purchase of medicine and medical equipment. The Government, through a private insurance company, will introduce a National Health Protection Fund for the B40 group. Patients can also be treated in hospital at the rate of RM50 a day, or RM700 a year. The Government will also allocate RM100mil to introduce a Health Protection Scheme (PEKA) with a pilot health screening project for B40s aged 50 and above. Furthermore, RM20mil will be allocated to continue free mammogram screening for breast screening, HPV vaccination and pap smear in government hospitals and clinics. An additional RM50mil will be allocated for rare diseases treatment, Hepatitis C, programme to overcome stunting among children, screening and haemodialisis treatment and enhanced primary healthcare. To combat obesity, government plans to introduce an excise duty at 40 cents per litre on two categories of sugary drinks which are manufactured in the form of ready-to-drink packaging. Starting April 1, beverages containing sugar or other sweeter exceeding 5g per 100ml and fruit and vegetable juices containing sugar exceeding 12g per 100ml will be taxed.
GDP in 2018 is expected to be RM1,230bil, budget allocation for MOF in Budget 2018 was RM26.58bil (2.16% of total GDP); GDP in 2019 is forecasted to be RM1,290bil, budget allocation for MOF in Budget 2019 was RM28.68bil (2.22% of total GDP); by comparison it is merely a 0.06% increase in the budget allocation with respect to the total GDP, not yet as promised 4% of the GDP in the manifesto