Gradual rollout proposed for Malaysia's social health insurance scheme

MP suggests starting with employees of government-linked companies

Gradual rollout proposed for Malaysia's social health insurance scheme

Life & Health

By Kenneth Araullo

A Malaysian member of parliament has presented a gradual rollout for the introduction of a national social health insurance scheme in Malaysia, aimed at enhancing the sustainability of healthcare financing in the country.

Dr Kelvin Yii, member of parliament for Bandar Kuching, advocated initiating a social health insurance scheme starting with government-linked company (GLC) employees, and subsequently extending its coverage to the broader population.

In a report from CodeBlue, Yii said that GLC employees are already covered by existing private insurance. The objective, therefore, is to transfer and potentially expand the scheme to encompass a wider demographic.

The MP outlined a phased rollout of the social health insurance scheme, beginning with a 5% contribution from employees, matched by a 5% employer contribution. This approach could potentially generate an annual revenue of RM15 billion to RM17 billion, based on collection estimates derived from existing models employed by the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and the Social Security Organisation (Socso).

“If the social health insurance scheme is implemented effectively, especially if health indicators improve and health care services become better – shorter waiting times, better medications – I believe more and more people will participate in this scheme,” Yii said.

Yii also stressed the need for a gradual implementation to avoid imposing a sudden burden on the public or the market. He said that it should also be managed by the government, and not by the private sector.

“I know this is not a popular decision, and it is challenging because nobody likes to contribute from their own income or pay additional tax. However, this is crucial for the long-term sustainability of the healthcare system, not just for the next 10-15 years, but in the longer term,” he said.

Elsewhere in the country, Generali Group has recently unveiled plans to establish 25 additional branches throughout Malaysia, marking a strategic move to enhance services and build stronger relationships with the Malaysian customer base.

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