By Nur Ashikin Louis
KUCHING, Oct 7: Income tax relief on medical expenses for self, spouse and child will be expanded to cover dental examination and treatment expenses limited up to RM1,000 beginning next year.
Finance Minister Senator Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Aziz said the federal government is allocating RM36.1 billion to Ministry of Health (MOH) next year compared to RM32.4 billion this year, which is one of the biggest increases among ministries.
He also mentioned that the World Bank data reported that the total expenditure on health services in Malaysia is equivalent to other neighboring countries which is around four per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“Although we are in the transition phase to endemic, Covid-19 is still with us. In facing the future, the government will continue to strengthen the capacity of public health services.
“A total of RM4.9 billion is provided to cover acquisitions such as medicines, reagents, vaccines and consumables, which is an increase of 12 per cent compared to 2022,” he said when tabling the Budget 2023 in the Dewan Rakyat today.
He further said the government has allocated RM420 million for the repair of dilapidated hospitals and clinics as well as the replacement of obsolete equipment with priority given to health facilities in the interior of Sabah and Sarawak.
“Next year, several new hospitals, clinics and facility construction projects will be implemented including the procurement of equipment at a cost of nearly RM1.8 billion.
“Among them are the Maran Hospital in Pahang at a cost of RM350 million, the women’s and children’s block building at Melaka Hospital and five new health clinics such as in Linggi Negeri Sembilan, Penampang Sabah and Sepupok Sarawak.
“The government will also acquire mobile CT Scan equipment to improve CT Scan services, especially for the benefit of the interior of Sabah and Sarawak,” he added.
He also said the government has planned to establish a National Centre of Excellence for Mental Health which will act as an integrated driving force between all parties for the wellbeing of the people’s mental health under the umbrella of MyMYNDA with an allocation of RM34 million. — DayakDaily