Thursday, December 2, 2021

RM32.4 billion for health in Budget 2022

This is the second largest allocation after education.

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The government has set aside RM32.4 billion for the health ministry in its budget for 2022, the second largest allocation after education.

In light of the continuing battle against Covid-19, RM4 billion has been allocated specifically for the handling of the crisis.

Of this, RM2 billion is for the vaccination programme while the remaining RM2 billion is to increase the capacity of public health service facilities including through the purchase of medication, consumables, personal protective equipment and health kits.

Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz, who tabled the budget in the Dewan Rakyat, said the government has proposed the procurement of antiviral medication that is found to be effective against a variety of viruses including Covid-19.

He also said that the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme would continue to be strengthened for the provision of third shots as boosters for all adults, in addition to the vaccination of children aged 12 to 17.

He said Putrajaya has signed an agreement for 88 million doses of vaccine, that is more than 140% of the population and enough for third jabs to be given to all individuals aged 12 and above.

He said the government has also agreed to continue the Agenda Nasional Malaysia Sihat initiative, and is proposing an extention of the excise duty on sugary beverages in the form of chocolate or cocoa-based premixes, malt, coffee and tea.

The government also plans to impose an excise duty on liquid or gel products containing nicotine used for e-cigarettes and vape.

Putrajaya has also agreed to extend the contracts of more than 10,000 medical, dental and pharmaceutical officers after the mandatory service period of two years to a maximum of four years.

It has likewise agreed to approve the sponsorship of a speciality programme with an allocation of RM100 million for the benefit of some 3,000 contract medical and dental officers.

Meanwhile, RM70 million has been set aside for mental healthcare including support services, counselling, the addition of advocacy programmes and to boost the role of NGOs in this regard.

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