Budget 2017: Mammograms, HPV vaccines, Shorter Queues, Housemanship

Budget 2017: RM30 mil for mammograms gets thumbs up

The RM30 mil allocation for free mammograms and HPV immunisations will encourage women to go for testing, said National Cancer Society of Malaysia president Dr Saunthari Somasundaram.

She said early detection was key to battling cancer.

“Also, Malaysia is hosting the World Cancer Congress in 2018 and having a budget allocated augurs well in cancer control,” said Dr Saunthari.

In Malaysia, it is estimated that more than 30% of women with breast cancer are diagnosed at the advanced stage (Stage 3) when the chances for successful treatment are relatively low, compared to early stages of the disease.

New option to ease queues in govt hospitals

MALAYSIANS who cannot afford expensive healthcare services but dread the long queues at government hospitals will soon have another option.

Non-profit charitable hospitals will be able to charge the same rates as government hospitals under Budget 2017, thanks to the Government’s collaboration with the private sector and NGOs.

RM20 mil was allocated in the form of loans for the hospitals to buy equipment. The Government also allocated RM110 mil, of which RM70 mil is for medical assistance, benefiting nearly 10,000 underprivileged patients. The collaboration is aimed at reducing overcrowding in government hospitals.

In addition, the National Community Health Empowerment Programme will be expanded at the cost of RM80 mil.

Docs to be given four-year contract

Doctors would be given a four-year contract while dentists and pharmacists a three-year contract under the new scheme announced in Budget 2017.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said the scheme, which would come into effect soon, would help the 2,600 doctors who had failed to get housemanship in hospitals.

Presently, doctors are required to do two years of housemanship, while dentists and pharmacists are required to complete one year.

“Demand for doctors in the private sector is still high as there’s a shortage of medical practitioners in private hospitals,” he said.

“Once their contract expires with the Government, doctors can still find employment in the private sector,” he said.

/theSTAR 22,23-10-2016

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