MoH seeking increase in public health expenditure to 5% GDP

The benchmark for public health expenditure for mid-income countries is between 4% and 5% of GDP, Khairy says


THE Health Ministry (MoH) is requesting for the public health expenditure to be increased to 5% of GDP to enable the nation to have a global standard public health system.

MoH Minister Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar stated that Malaysia allocated only 2.59% of GDP for public health whereas the benchmark for similar expenditure for mid-income countries is between 4% and 5% of GDP.

“I know all ministries are also seeking allocations from the prime minister (PM) and all ministries are equally important, but some ministries are more important than other ministries.

“Just one figure I need the PM to remember is five. Not RM5 billion, not RM5 million, but 5% of the country’s GDP,” he said at the opening of the 2022 Health Policy Summit today.

The conference themed “Future of Health Services Through the Development of Health White Paper” was officiated by PM Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

Khairy highlighted that the allocation shortcomings has led to complaints over delay in health services such as the long wait for magnetic resonance imaging or computed tomography scan in government hospitals.

Meanwhile, Khairy also said that all policies and programmes benefitting the people (in the long run) were not affected although the government under the leadership of Ismail Sabri is facing various speculations on the general election.

In the one year of administration, he also stated that the government had achieved many favourable outcomes including the success of controlling the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as the formulation of several legislations seen as crucial for future generations.

“In the field of health, the PM had also given support to me in bringing the Control of Tobacco Products and Smoking Control Bill 2022, as well as consenting a White Paper on Health to transform the country’s health system.

“Even though we were the government for not a very long time, we have succeeded in bringing long far-reaching reforms,” he added.