Introduce national health insurance scheme to cover everyone’s medical care


Apart from food security, the new Malaysian government should also consider the possibility of introducing a national health insurance program so that people can get comprehensive medical care for all their medical needs.

Currently, only wealthy Malaysians can afford private medical insurance to act as armor to ensure that all family members receive the best treatment available. Despite the rising costs, many people still insure themselves and their entire families as a form of safety.

With private health insurance, we can ensure that the insured are able to get treatment quickly. Many people are concerned about heavy medical bills, especially if the illness requires long hospitalizations, surgeries and follow-up treatments.

Sadly, such private medical insurance is beyond the reach of many, thus, many are denied access to quality medical care. Ordinary people cannot afford private insurance.

Sometimes even private health insurance will not cover the insured for the full cost of hospitalization, surgery and follow-up treatment.

A friend of mine recently had heart surgery. He said the bill came to about R90,000 but his insurance only allowed R70,000. So, he had to shell out R20,000 from his pocket – a huge sum for a retired person.

It is because of this situation that the new government should explore the possibility of transforming the Social Security Organization (Socso) into a national health insurance system. This will ensure that everyone receives the same treatment.

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Employees in the public and private sectors will probably not mind paying a reasonable amount each month out of their monthly income to support this program. Everyone knows the benefits of such a plan, and it covers a person from childhood to the grave.

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With such a plan, employees enjoy great lifetime benefits. What better protection can a country provide to its people than national health insurance to cover medical emergencies?

The program should also cover the treatment of the entire family of employees in private clinics and medical facilities. Only then will employees stop having more worries and nightmares about medical bills.

The program should be expanded to cover migrant workers. We must never forget them as we have a moral responsibility to ensure that they too receive the best treatment available. In fact, once they have obtained the official work permit, they should also enjoy public and private health care services like the rest of us

After all, they play a major role in the economic development and prosperity of Malaysia. Without them, many economic sectors in our country will be paralyzed.

Under such a national health insurance plan, people will have the choice to go to a public or private hospital or clinic of their choice. This will also reduce the burden on public hospitals and clinics, which have been stretched to capacity.

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If the national insurance system extends the same medical protection to all our people, Malaysia will be recognized as a country led by the moral compass. It will paint a picture of Malaysia as a country that has prioritized itself well.

If we take a step in this direction, we will slowly move towards becoming an equal society like Sweden.

If the national health insurance scheme is introduced, Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim will leave behind a valuable and lasting legacy. If we implement such a system, Malaysia will provide moral leadership to many countries around the world.

All we need is the green light from the government for our planners to come up with a national health insurance plan. We have enough talented people in the country to come up with ideas and suggestions for planning and implementing an effective national health insurance system.

Such a plan would have bipartisan support. Both sides of the political divide can work together to come up with a viable plan. They can get feedback from NGOs, industry associations, the Malaysian Employers Federation and the Malaysian Trades Union Congress.

How do we finance such a national health insurance plan? Financing such a program should not be a major problem.

Apart from employer and employer contributions, we will have sufficient financial resources if we cut corruption, mismanagement and other forms of waste. Adequate financial resources will be available if we close all these loopholes.

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Malaysia can provide the best covered medical benefits available to all its people. It is not a distant dream but one that I hope can come true in my lifetime.

We owe this basic service to all our people. It will surely be a precious legacy for posterity – a legacy cherished by future generations, who will know that we, the people of today, care about their welfare.

No one should be denied the best treatment, regardless of their position in life or their position in society.

Quality medical care should always be a basic right for everyone and not the privilege of a privileged few.

AGENDA RAKYAT – Lima perkara utama

  1. Tegakkan maruah serta ualiti hiduhuda rakyat
  2. Galakkan pembangunan saksama, lestari serta tangani krisis alam sekitar
  3. Raikan kerencaman and keterangkuman
  4. Selamatkan democracy dan angkatkan keluhuran undang-undang
  5. Lawan rasuah dan kronisme
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The views expressed in Aliran’s press statements and the NGO statements we have approved reflect the official position of Aliran. The views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran’s official position.


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