“Health is everything. As such, concerted efforts will be implemented to enhance the health levels of the rakyat and quality of the healthcare in the country,” said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak during the tabling of Budget 2017.
However, the ability of the government to deliver on this promise may be jeopardised by the serious budgetary reductions in public health and medical care operational expenditure (Opex). This year, medical care services, which cover hospital supplies, blood transfusion medication and pharmaceutical supplies, suffered an RM589mil allocations cut, dropping by 12.9% from RM4.576bil in 2016 to RM3.987bil in 2017. Public health allocations fared even worse, falling from RM1.483bil in 2016 to RM1.245bil in 2017, amounting to a 16% reduction.
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