SIBU, Sept 16: The Health Ministry will continue to use the Medical Relief Fund (MRF) to help poor patients with their various medical needs.
Speaking at a ceremony to present the financial assistance to 10 recipients today at Sibu Hospital, Health Minister Datuk Sri Dr Adham said applicants would have to go through a screening process at government hospital nationwide.
He noted the programme was implemented in 2005 to assist poor patients by either partially or totally covering the cost of medical treatment, purchase of rehabilitation equipment or medicine.
“This assistance is to help the recipients improve their health conditions so that they can continue with their lives and contribute to the socio-economy wellbeing of the country,” he added.
Cardiac patients, he said, top the list of recipients for the Medical Assistance Fund (MAF) from the Health Ministry (MOH) accounting for 618 of the total 1,871 people so far this year.
The second highest number of recipients for the fund for this year comprised orthopedic patients (451) followed by otorhinolaryngology patients (242).
“For this year until August 31, MOH has approved applications from 1,871 people with financial aid totalling RM23 million. The amount of financial aid for the three (largest) disciplines (1,311 patients) alone was RM18.8 million or 80 per cent of the total amount given out this year,” he said.
As for Sarawak, he said RM2.74 million had been approved for disbursement for this year for 171 patients, of which orthopedic patients formed the largest category with 71 people.
Dr Adham noted that since MAF was introduced in 2005, a total of 63,000 patients nationwide had benefited from it.
“MAF started in 2005 with an allocation of RM25 million. The amount was increase to RM40 million per year from 2014 onward so as to assist more poor patients,” he said.
The total number of recipients in 2017 was 5,814 people involving RM49 million, 2018 with 6,024 recipients involving RM53 million, and 2019 with 4,503 individuals receiving RM46 million. — DayakDaily