Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin is pushing for public health expenditure to be increased to 5% of GDP. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, August 15, 2022.

THE Health Ministry (MOH) is pushing for public health expenditure to be increased to 5% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to ensure Malaysia has a world-standard public health system in future.

Its minister, Khairy Jamaluddin said in an upper middle-income country, the benchmark for public health expenditure was between 4 to 5% of GDP.

Nonetheless, Malaysia, he said is only allocating 2.59% of GDP for public health expenditure thus causing many to complain of the long wait to get services such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT) scan in government hospitals.

“I know all ministries are seeking allocations from the Prime Minister but some ministries are more important.

“As George Orwell said in his book, ‘all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others’ and in the same spirit, the ministry (MOH) is created more equal than others as our core business is the life and death of the people.

“Just one figure I need the Prime Minister to remember is 5. Not RM5 billion, not RM5 million but 5% of our 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 Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

Meanwhile, Khairy said all policies and programmes benefitting the people, in the long run, were not affected even though the government under the leadership of Ismail was facing various speculations on the upcoming general election.

This is because, he said, in the one year of administration much had been achieved including successfully controlling the Covid pandemic as well as the formulation of several legislations seen as crucial for future generations.

Among them were the Anti-Sexual Harassment Bill 2021, which was recently passed after being drafted for more than 10 years as well as the Anti-Party Hopping Bill, which would see stability and integrity in politics.

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

“Even though we have not been the government for a very long time, we have succeeded in bringing far-reaching reforms,” he said. – Bernama, August 15, 2022.

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