SHAH ALAM, June 10 — The Health Ministry will announce its plan on Healthcare Financing Reform soon following its commitment in strengthening and improving the healthcare system across the country.

Its Minister Datuk Seri Dzulkefly Ahmad said the reform agenda among others will focus on innovative and creative ways to spend the yearly budget announced by the government, thus supplementing the Ministry’s financial standings for the betterment of local healthcare system as to not be stifled by the nations fiscal status.

“... we were stranded because we are essentially a predominantly tax-based system and getting RM41.2 billion (budget) for this year and given RM6.07 billion for development expenditure truly we are all along being underfunded, understaffed and overworked.

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“If you don’t allow me the resource, allow me to be resourceful and I will have all innovation and creative ideas to ensure that we can spend and drive our expenditure in a creative way,” he said during his speech at Avisena Specialist Hospital Expansion Groundbreaking Ceremony here today.

He said as an upper middle-income country, the nation should spend six to seven per cent of its gross domestic product (GDP) towards healthcare rather than 5.1 per cent as of now.

On that note, Dzulkefly applauded the private sector’s efforts to complement the public sectors healthcare system while also urging for the former to be involved in value-based healthcare.

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“As an upper middle-income economy, we must spend close to 6 to 7 per cent (of GDP) but of course this minister is not able to ask and demand for more allocation because of our fiscal constraint, then we looked at the private sector to be helping us to drive the health expenditure,” he said.

Meanwhile, Dzulkefly said the ministry was also carrying out efforts to optimise the use of wards by offering daily patient treatment care at main hospitals and through the digitalisation of the Bed Management Unit to centralise the system through the Critical Patient Response Centre in hospitals.

He said the move was in line with the target of a hospital bed ratio of 2 bed to 1,000 residents by the end of the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) to 2.06. — Bernama