Malaysia proposes progressive contribution scheme for public healthcare funding

The Malaysian Health Ministry has released a Health White Paper proposing a progressive contribution scheme to diversify funding for public healthcare services and implement much-needed reforms over the next 15 years. The paper highlights that the current allocations for healthcare are insufficient to meet the growing demands of the system and that relying on a single source for public healthcare funding is unsustainable given the country’s changing demographics.

The document emphasises the importance of increasing healthcare funding to ensure Universal Health Care (UHC) is maintained and provides protection against individual financial risk during illness. As a result, the paper proposes a form of social compact that would make investments in healthcare a shared responsibility.

To improve healthcare funding, the paper suggests that contributions from various sources, including the government, individuals, and corporations, should be increased progressively to reach 5% of Malaysia’s gross domestic product (GDP). This mechanism will be studied, debated, and presented in Parliament for eventual bipartisan support. The implementation of this mechanism is expected within the next 10 years, with studies and structural proposals to be discussed in the first five years.

In addition to the proposed mechanism, the Health White Paper recommends introducing suitable pro-health taxes to encourage behavioural changes and contribute to government funding of the healthcare sector. The paper also highlights the issue of low fee rates charged at public healthcare facilities, which have contributed to inequality between payment charges and service costs, as well as affordability levels, particularly among higher-income households. To strengthen the sustainability of public healthcare funding, the paper suggests reviewing the fees charged at public healthcare facilities to better match affordability levels.

World News

Lee Shuyi

Lee is an expat writer living in Thailand. She specialises in Southeast Asian news for the Thaiger. When she's not writing, Lee enjoys immersing herself in Thai culture and learning Thai.

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