The Star Online, January 24, 2017
Families and married couples that earn a monthly household income of less than RM3,000 and have lived in Selangor for more than a decade will be given a card for subsidised treatment at clinics under the state’s Peduli Sihat Scheme.
Selangor Health, Welfare, Women and Family Affairs committee chairman Dr Daroyah Alwi said the subsidised healthcare scheme is expected to benefit up to a million people in the state.
Gombak will be the first district to implement the scheme.
“Once a family is registered, a Peduli Sihat card is issued to the main account holder with an annual RM500 allocation,” she explained.
“The dependents including the spouse and children below 21 will be entitled to treatments at registered clinics under the scheme.
“We have 1,001 clinics in Selangor and Klang Valley.
“During a visit to any of the respective clinics, patients can enjoy a maximum of RM50 subsidy. If the total for consultation, treatment and medication exceed RM50, the person has to top-up from their own pocket,” he said.
Dr Daroyah added that the scheme would be offered to 250,000 families – about a million Selangor citizens.
Households with the lowest 40% income, or Bottom 40 (B40), who are feeling the economic squeeze due to higher living costs, will find the scheme a blessing.
“Our aim is to improve the health of people who do not even have the means to get medication for flu, cough and cold because a minimum visit to the clinic could cost RM35 to RM45.
B40 are households with incomes in the lowest 40%, with a monthly income of RM2,537 or less.
“They are the group which suffers the most whenever food, clothing, rent, fuel and transportation goes up.
Dr Daroyah added that subsidised health scheme would uplift the quality of life of the poor.
Peduli Sihat is in line with the 11th Malaysia Plan 2016-2020 which is people-centric.
It targets to improve the well-being of all, as well as the health of individuals, to create happy households.
According to Dr Daroyah, the scheme will be managed by Selgate Corporation Sdn Bhd.
Selgate Corporation is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Selangor State Development Corporation (PKNS).
She added that a second category for individuals above the age of 21 and earn below RM1,500 a month can also register to obtain the Peduli Sihat card with a maximum cap of RM200 a year.
“For these individuals a maximum of RM50 can be used at every visit to a private clinic,” she said.
The Selangor Government has allocated an annual RM125mil for Peduli Sihat healthcare scheme.
“Our initial census tells us that there are 250,000 families or one million individuals in the B40 category.
Dr Daroyah said the application process would be simple, with applicants just needing to visit the nearest service centre to do this.
Shukri Abdul Majid, 49, a government servant and resident at Taman Seri Andalas in Klang, said one of the biggest concerns for all families was the rising costs of living that had shrunk the value of the ringgit.
“Having a subsidised healthcare programme would be a big help,” he added.
Saiful Eddie, 43, a clerk, said the Peduli Sihat was a good move but suggested that individuals with an income of below RM2,300 should also be eligible for the scheme.
“Most people start work with an income of RM1,950 to RM2,180. I hope the state government would consider this group of people too,” he said.