The status of health rights in Malaysia

Source: The Star2

Migrant workers, both legal and illegal, should not be deprived of their right to effective healthcare. Photo: Filepic

For a country that is only approaching 59 years of age, Malaysia has a pretty good healthcare system.

In fact, according to Health Ministry Planning Division senior deputy director and National Health Financing Unit head Datuk Dr Rozita Halina Tun Hussein, Malaysia has had universal health coverage since the 1980s (when Malaysia was in her 30s).

Also known as universal health care, this means that all Malaysians have access to effective healthcare that does not expose them to financial hardship.

Dr Rozita, who was speaking on Universal Health Coverage in Malaysia at the recent National Symposium on the Right to Health held in Kuala Lumpur, shared that the latest National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS) in 2015 indicated that all socioeconomic classes had equal access to healthcare in the country.

In fact, she added that the poorest 20% of the population actually make use of more than 20% of the public health budget, which is financed via general taxation.

In addition, when calculated as part of the percentage of non-food expenditure in an average Malaysian household, healthcare expenses take up a very small amount, compared to other countries. Read more