The Health Ministry is in the final stage of drawing up a health insurance protection scheme for those in the B40 group (bottom 40% in terms of income) to help them obtain affordable treatment at government and private hospitals.
Deputy Health Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye said the proposed insurance protection scheme would be tabled in the 2019 Budget to Parliament sitting in October, reports the Bernama news agency.
He said a minimum rate that would not burden the B40 group would be set as the premium for the insurance coverage.
“As an example, the government could provide insurance protection of between MYR10,000 ($2,450) and MYR20,000 a year per family for their hospital bills,” he said.
He was responding to a suggestion by a former health director-general, Dr Mohd Ismail Merican, for the government to introduce a mandatory health insurance scheme to cover increasing healthcare costs.
In April, Health Minister Dr S. Subramaniam said that the government was introducing the Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme this year to help those in the B40 group obtain health treatment in private clinics, with the costs borne by the government. The scheme could utilise existing capacity in the private healthcare sector.
Dr Subramaniam said the scheme would be managed by his ministry and supervised by the Finance Ministry, with the aim to reduce the gap in healthcare services between the government and private sectors. He said a thorough study would be carried out on private clinics, as well as the costs involved.