PUTRAJAYA: Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah has reiterated there has been no cut in the health ministry budget, and added that additional funds could be sought at the mid-term review of the 2021 budget if the current allocations are found to be insufficient.
Noor Hisham maintained that there was no decrease in allocations for the ministry in the annual budget. He said an additional RM3 billion had been “parked” under other ministries for the Covid-19 vaccine.
“There’s no decrease in expenditure, in fact, it’s an increase of 4.3% from RM30.6 billion to RM31.94 billion. Obviously, our activities for the next couple of months will be focused on Covid-19 and infectious diseases.
“Having said that, we also need to focus on non-communicable diseases (NCDs). For the pneumococcal (immunisation programme for children), RM90 million has been allocated. And NCDs are also important, there’s no reduction.
“But if there’s a need for us to look into the budget, then at the mid-term review we can seek additional funding from the finance ministry,” he said at a press conference today.
Earlier, health ministry secretary-general Dr Chen Chaw Min also dismissed allegations of reduced spending on NCDs, saying the treatment of NCDs will continue to be prioritised by the government.
He described as “not accurate” allegations made of a reduction of 2.57% in the RM27.22 billion operating expenses for 2021 compared with RM27.94 billion in the 2020 budget.
The 2021 budget estimates tabled in the Dewan Rakyat last Friday show an allocation of RM31.94 billion for the health ministry, involving RM27.22 billion in operating expenses and RM4.72 billion in development expenditure.
The 2020 budget figures were a total allocation of RM30.6 billion, involving RM27.94 billion in operating expenditure and RM2.66 billion in development expenditure.