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Budget 2021 booster for fight against COVID-19 – Deputy Health DG

The allocation for the Health Ministry (MOH) in Budget 2021 will boost efforts to combat COVID-19 but all-round cooperation is required to defeat the pandemic, said deputy director-general of health (Medical) Datuk Dr Rohaizat Yon.

He said from the overall budget of RM31.94 billion for the ministry, RM475 million is for the supply of reagents and consumables, while RM318 million for the provision of personal protective equipment and hand sanitisers for frontline staff.

However, he said cooperative effort was necessary to defeat the pandemic, which has sparked an unprecedented health crisis and caused major economic damage in many countries.

“I believe if we all work together and play our role, obey the SOPs and adhere to the guideline, Insya-Allah we can and we will defeat this pandemic. At the same time the government needs to act fast to flatten the curve of this pandemic,” he said in the Mid-Day Update programme on Bernama TV here today.

Describing the budget as rakyat-centred, Dr Rohaizat said the total allocation received by the ministry will be distributed to existing seven programmes.

They are management, medical, public health, oral health, pharmaceutical, research and technical support as well as food safety and quality programmes.

Meanwhile, the Malaysian Health Coalition (MHC) has expressed disappointment over the 4.3 per cent increase in the allocation for the ministry next year compared to Budget 2020, apart from the additional non-MOH allocations in the COVID-19 Fund.

“This increase is insufficient during a great pandemic,” it said.

It urged the government to break down the allocation by category for medical supplies and consumables amounting to RM4.29 billion which had been allocated and classified under code 080000 (Specific Programmes) as clarified by Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz on Saturday.

“The government must provide a clear breakdown by category, as transparency will ensure no inefficiencies, leakages or wastage,” said MHC in a statement.

Reiterating its call to raise the health allocation to close to four per cent of the national Gross Domestic Product, it also urged the government to adopt long-term, durable policies towards sustainable healthcare financing, establishing oversight mechanisms and public-private partnerships.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

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