KUALA LUMPUR, November 14 – Muda’s election manifesto pledges to introduce a wage-financed social health insurance scheme, the only political party to deal with health care financing for the health care system under -funded from Malaysia.
According to the Malaysia National Health Accounts (MNHA) presentation in November 2021, Malaysia’s total health expenditure accounted for 4.7% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2020.
Public sources of health spending slightly exceeded private sources at around 55% to 45%, or 2.58% of GDP versus 2.15%. Malaysia’s total health expenditure was only 4.7% of GDP in 2020.
Muda’s “Kertas Hitam” manifesto for the 15th general election, prepared last October 12 and published on Muda’s website, noted that most developed economies spend around 10% of their GDP on health care, while Medical costs in Malaysia are increasing by an average of 10% to 15% per year.
“The prevalence of disease among the elderly, coupled with limited insurance coverage, may trigger a social protection crisis,” Muda’s election manifesto said.
“To prevent this situation from becoming more critical, the Muda proposes this mechanism: the establishment of a social health insurance scheme financed by contributions which are aligned with the contributions of the employee provident fund (EPF ) and Social Security (Socso).
“Contribution rates for this scheme should be appropriate and based on a flexible scale depending on income and age.”
Citing statistics from June 2022, Muda noted that 52% of the 12.78 million EPF contributors under the age of 55, or 6.62 million contributors, only had savings of less than RM10,000. Some 3.2 million contributors in this group had pension savings at the critical level of less than RM1,000.
Pakatan Harapan (PH) – which is in an electoral pact with Muda contesting six federal seats in the 222-seat parliament – did not propose social health insurance in its “Tawaran Harapan” manifesto, merely mentioning funding for health care. health as an area of reform to be deliberated as part of a national health reform plan.
PH, Barisan Nasional (BN) and Perikatan Nasional (PN) instead pledged to increase public health spending to 5% of Malaysia’s GDP – within five years for PH and BN – which the Galen Center for Health and Social Policy criticized as “empty promises”.
Galen Center chief executive Azrul Mohd Khalib said it was “simply impossible” to raise funds for these goals without reforms such as earmarking revenues from sin taxes or introducing a social health insurance, adding that it is not enough to reduce waste or corruption.
Government does not need to provide social care, fee caps are discussed instead
Muda’s GE15 manifesto said the youth party believes the government does not need to provide facilities and run social care, or care for the elderly and children.
This is despite Muda acknowledging that women are most affected by the “sandwich society” who are responsible for caring for both their young children and their elderly parents.
“With a growing population and the increase in the percentage of the elderly population, the state will not be able to guarantee the quality and safety [of care] in every government establishment,” Muda’s manifesto said.
“Therefore, Muda proposes the private sector to open child and elderly care centers in each district in accordance with the regulations, strict standards and fee caps (according to service category) set by the government.”
Quality elderly care, in particular, is very expensive, amid the prevalence of unregulated nursing homes. The government currently does not provide much care for the elderly, leaving it to non-governmental organizations instead, or treating elderly citizens as a matter of “welfare” under the Ministry of Women, Family and Development community.
Muda suggested that each childcare or elder care facility be limited to a maximum of five people to ensure quality and safety, in addition to providing operators with subsidies and interest-free credits to enable them to fulfill all the criteria set.
All human resources should also be trained to international standards of care under government sponsorship, the youth party said.
“In an effort to expand this approach, the government will provide cash assistance or appropriate tax exemptions to parents to help with the cost of care.”
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