The government will focus on ensuring that existing medical equipment and facilities are functioning well through the adoption of the “Repairs, Replace and Restore” (3R) approach, said Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng.
“What is the point of building new facilities if the existing ones are not taken care of and are deteriorating in terms of quality? In my visits throughout the country, I have observed that this trend has persisted over the past 15 years.
“To resolve this, we need to take the 3R approach towards all government medical equipment and facilities,” he said in a statement today, noting that though it would be costly and would take some time to implement, it was necessary.
Meanwhile, Lim said the government was also concerned with the monopoly over the provision of drugs, and its effect on healthcare costs.
He said the government is studying its existing contract with Pharmaniaga to find the best way forward to address the problem.
Currently, the monopoly costs the government more than RM1.1 billion annually.
Meanwhile, in conjunction with the upcoming Budget 2020 announcement on Oct 11, Lim (photo) said the government is organising 12 focus group discussions to obtain views and recommendations.
The focus groups will deliberate on specific issues highlighted during the Budget Consultation Day on June 27 this year, as well as memorandums submitted by industry players, think tanks, academia and non-governmental organisations.
“One of the most important issues raised was the provision of quality health services to all Malaysians, particularly the B40 group,” he said.
Between 2010 and 2018, the government allocated RM193.6 billion for the provision of healthcare services.
In 2019 alone, the Health Ministry received a total allocation of RM28.7 billion, approximately nine percent of the total budget.