Health scheme for B40 group to cover 36, not four, critical illnesses

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng says the health scheme will be implemented from Jan 1 next year.

GEORGE TOWN: The government will expand the healthcare coverage under the national health protection fund for the B40 low-income group to cover 36 major critical illnesses, said Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng.

He said the scheme, to be implemented from Jan 1 next year, would provide protection for the B40 group should they fall sick or get admitted to a government hospital.

In Budget 2019, it was announced that the scheme would only cover four major critical illnesses but it has now been extended to cover 36 major critical illnesses, he said.

“If they (B40) get admitted into a government hospital ward but cannot afford to pay, they may submit an application to cover payment for a maximum of 14 days at RM50 per day or RM700 a year,” he told reporters here today.

He said the scheme would be managed by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) and applications could be made online, adding that BNM was now preparing the website.

Meanwhile, Lim said the government would also raise the floor price of rubber to RM2.50 from RM2.20 to assist tappers in facing the decline in international commodity prices.

He added that the padi subsidy would also be raised to RM360 from RM300 per tonne.

‘Don’t raise TAR fees’

In another development, the Bagan MP warned MCA leaders not to use education as a political issue.

He said MCA’s recommendation to raise tuition fees at Tunku Abdul Rahman University College (TAR UC) due to lack of funds from the government was not a wise move.

“Their decision to punish the students by raising the tuition fees will only worsen the situation,” he said.

On Nov 12, MCA president Wee Ka Siong was reported to have said that MCA would probably raise the tuition fees at TAR UC following a cut in allocations, as announced in the recent budget.

Earlier today, during a visit to Sekolah Kebangsaan Bagan Jermal in Butterworth, Lim said the government had approved an additional allocation for infrastructure upgrades at the school.

He said in addition to RM30,000, which had been allocated for the repair of roofs and pre-school facilities, another RM30,000 had been approved for toilet repairs and restoration of other facilities in the dilapidated school.