MO,7/4/2018, PETALING JAYA: Datuk Eric See-To accused Pakatan Harapan of trying to mislead people on the cut in the Federal Government’s budget for medicines.The Barisan Nasional strategic communicatio ns (BNSC) deputy director said in a statement on Saturday (April 7) that the Opposition’s claim when promoting their Kad Peduli Sihat scheme missed the point.
“In promoting their Kad Peduli Sihat (scheme), Pakatan Harapan is trying to mislead when they claim that the Federal Government’s budget for medicine s upply has been cut from RM1.59bil in 2016 to RM1.292bil in 2017 and to RM1.227bil in 2018 – a 20% cut in three years,” he said.Under the Kad Peduli Sihat scheme, poorer Selangor folks are given an annual RM500 allocation for treatment at registered private clinics in the state.
See-To acknowledged that the 20% reduction in medicine expenditure was accurate, but there was good reason for this.He said that the Ministry had moved to generic drugs since 2015 to cut down on costs.Generic drugs are copies of brand-name drugs that have exactly the same dosage, use, effects, side effects and strength as the original drugs, he explained.
See-To, however, pointed out that the Health Ministry’s budget had increased – with an all ocation of RM26.58bil for healthcare in the 201 8 budget, a 9.5% increase over the previous year’s.See-To said said the use of generics also opened up opportunities for local manufacturers.”Currently, 30% of generic drugs are sourced from local manufacturers whereas almost all branded medicine are produced overseas,” he said.
“Since money has now been saved from drug supplies, the Government can then invest in better equipment, and build more clinics and hospitals to serve the people, which also provides places for medical graduates to perform their housemanship,” he said.