Deputy Finance Minister I, Datuk Abdul Rahim Bakri has said that the government does not have plans to implement a national health insurance scheme for all Malaysians as of yet.
According to the deputy minister, this decision is justified by the fact that Malaysia already has a yearly allocation of about RM30.6 billion to provide high quality health services to the people. “For the record, Malaysia is among many countries around the world that is able to provide free healthcare to the rakyat. This is something that we should be proud of,” said Abdul Halim in a Dewan Rakyat session. He was asked if the Finance Ministry intends to provide a national health insurance or health card for all Malaysians to cover serious illnesses or surgical expenses.
Abdul Rahim further emphasised that the government had already introduced several initiatives to improve healthcare services coverage, one of which is the MySalam insurance protection scheme. Introduced during Budget 2019 and then subsequently enhanced during Budget 2020, the current MySalam scheme is designed to provide takaful protection for individuals aged between 18 to 65. It also covers 45 critical illnesses, including Covid-19.
Under the MySalam scheme, you may get either a critical illness payout of RM4,000 or RM8,000 – depending on your income band – if you are diagnosed with one of the illnesses covered. Additionally, you are entitled to a daily hospitalisation benefit of RM50 for up to 14 days.
In addition to the MySalam initiative, Abdul Rahim said that the government provides the PeKa B40 healthcare protection scheme as well. Also announced during Budget 2019 and further upgraded in Budget 2020, the PeKa B40 is intended for the lower-income B40 group. Bantuan Sara Hidup (BSH) recipients and their registered spouse aged 40 and above are automatically eligible for the scheme.
The PeKa B40 scheme covers a range of common medical treatments, including medical examinations, medical aids, incentives to complete treatments. Some benefits include the purchase of medical equipment (maximum RM20,000) and transportation incentives of RM500 (patients in Peninsular Malaysia) or RM1,000 (Sabah and Sarawak).
“These benefits under the PeKa B40 scheme can be applied at special counters set up at government hospitals and selected clinics,” said Abdul Rahim.