The health ministry spent RM1.17 billion from March until Oct 31 in the fight against Covid-19, the Dewan Rakyat heard today.
Deputy Health Minister II Aaron Ago Dagang said the amount was used to purchase medical supplies, consumables, personal protective equipment (PPE), rapid test kits, and on other services in efforts to contain further spread of the virus.
He said the money was used at government facilities including hospitals, health clinics and dental clinics to protect frontliners and provide high quality services for the people.
“A big part of the allocation, RM275 million, was used for the payment of Covid-19 special allowances for ministry frontliners while RM262 million was used for PPE and RM210 million was used for the payment of outsourced private labs for Covid-19 screenings.
“The total amount does not include emolument payments for those involved in control and prevention treatment, the allocation for which is included in existing provisions for the health ministry,” he said.
He was responding to Wan Hassan Mohd Ramli (PAS-Dungun) on the ministry’s total expenditure in the fight against Covid-19 from March 18 to Oct 31.
On the government’s contingency plan to address the issue of unexpected spikes in Covid-19 cases, he said this information has not been made available to him.
However, he said the ministry is committed to controlling the spread of the virus and allaying public concerns about the third wave of infections.
“The health ministry has already spent RM1.2 billion. This contingency will be covered in the ministry’s existing allocations. Even though the budget (for 2020) was not enough, the ministry will continue to find a way to address the matter.”