By BERNAMA / Pic By TMR
The government’s commitment in providing quality healthcare, which is one of the best globally for Malaysians, is not merely empty promises, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak.
He said this is evident when the International Medical Tourism Journal recognised Malaysia as a health and medical tourism destination for three consecutive years since 2015.
He said the International Living magazine also recognised Malaysia as one of the five top countries worldwide in the field of healthcare.
“This is because the pledges made by the government were successfully implemented.
“In the Barisan Nasional (BN) manifesto for the 14th General Election (GE14), we ensure that healthcare and life- style are among the 14 main thrusts for the government in the next five years,” he said when opening the National Cancer Institute (IKN) in Putrajaya yesterday.
Under this pledge, Najib assured that the government will continue to improve and provide quality healthcare that is accessible to the people.
Najib said the government had allocated RM27 billion and RM26 billion each in Budget 2018 and 2017 to the Health Ministry.
The big allocation is crucial to achieve the ratio of one doctor to 400 residents by 2030, he said.
In the context of cancer, Najib said the disease was the fourth-highest cause of death in Malaysia in 2015, and in this regard, he encouraged people to undergo early screening for cancer because approximately 65% of the cases referred at the hospital had reached chronic and severe levels.
“I wonder why people do not want to go through a health test, including for cancer? They are afraid to go to the hospital, afraid to know the real situation — when it is detected, at that time (the cancer) is already at stage four,” he said.
He said the government would continue to raise awareness and further develop the country’s healthcare sector, including focusing on education on healthy lifestyles, early prevention and healthier eating habits among the people.
Taking Razali Tompang’s story which went viral in the social media in 2013 as an example, Najib said Razali was shocked when he received a bill of about RM11,000 for his father’s cancer treatments at Kuala Lumpur Hospital.
Razali had just RM100 in his pocket at that time, but he only had to pay RM31.80, while the rest was borne by the government.
“This is the government that always cares for the welfare of the people. It needs to be widely disseminated…how much subsidies the government provides in the health sector each year.
“Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S Subramaniam said the cost of cancer treatments using the Novalis machine can reach almost RM40,000 in private hospitals — but in government hospitals, patients only have to pay RM12,” he said.
Najib also praised former Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi for initiating the idea of the establishment of IKNin2007.
The institute was built at a cost of RM700 million, and to date, it has handled 37,452 patients compared to 505 patients when it began opera- ting in 2013. — Bernama