Materia Medica Malaysiana

April 24, 2007

RM800mil for rural health clinics

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 9:09 am

Star: IJOK: A total of 350 health clinics, including one in Batang Berjuntai, will be built in rural areas nationwide under the Ninth Malaysia Plan to cater to the healthcare needs of Malaysians.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek said the project, costing RM800mil, had been approved by the Finance Ministry and tenders would be called in June.
“There are healthcare facilities in the rural areas even now but these are still not enough,” he said when visiting a health screening programme at SRJK(C) Ijok here yesterday.
The new health clinic in Batang Berjuntai will cost RM16mil while another RM4mil will be spent to upgrade several other clinics here.
Dr Chua said the projects would be carried out in stages, with clinics costing less than RM5mil monitored by the ministry while those above this amount would come under the Works Ministry.
Earlier in his speech, Dr Chua said that Selangor received more than RM1bil, which was the highest allocation from the Health Ministry, under the 9MP.
He also said that Malaysia was the only country in the world where the Government charged a minimum RM1 for consultation. Dr Chua added that the Government also absorbed 90% of the total expenditure for public healthcare.
“This year, the expenditure for administration alone in public hospitals and clinics, including salaries and medicine, is expected to cost RM8.5bil.
“The RM1 collected from the patients for the whole year will only come to RM200mil.
“This is the commitment of the Government to the people to provide quality healthcare,” he said.
Dr Chua said that since Independence, the healthcare sector had improved tremendously and this was evidenced from the increase in the average lifespan of Malaysians – from 56 years in 1957 to 71 years for men now and 76 years for women.
He added that other health indicators had also shown improvement, with the infant mortality rate dropping from 75 for every 1,000 births 50 years ago to just 5.5 now while the death rate of children aged five and below was 8.8 per 1,000 now compared to 57 previously.
Dr Chua, who is also MCA vice-president, said every election, including by-elections, were very important.
He added that the power-sharing principle and mutual respect within Barisan Nasional had ensured social and political stability in the country.

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