The best news to our ears nowadays is when we hear the government will be footing our bills. It does not matter to us rakyat anymore, whether it is the BN government or the opposition state governments.
All we want is the government to foot our bills, more so, our healthcare -which takes a big chunk of our income.
For those earning less than RM3,000 a month, it puts a big dent into their pockets when they have to fork out even a RM50 for a visit to the doctor should a child get sick, for that RM50 may have been the next two family meals.
Many Malaysians from the lower income cannot afford private health services and resort to over-the counter medicines. Going to public hospitals mean long queues and missing a day’s work, which they cannot afford. They only do so when the children are sick, even then when they fall quite seriously ill. Supplements are completely off the list for all lower income Malaysians, for they cost a hand and a foot nowadays.
Yes, life is that difficult, with increasing prices of the most basic goods such as cooking oil. Not to mention, housing and car loans and many other bills which completely wipe out the salary on pay day itself.
In its latest Budget 2017, the Selangor government said that it will introduce free healthcare service for the Bottom 40 – covering one million people who have lived in the state for 10 years – in its Budget 2017, reported Malaysiakini.
“Dubbed “Skim Peduli Sihat” or medical and healthcare coverage, Selangor Menteri Besar Azmin Ali said the move is being taken to address the rising cost of living faced by this group.
“For this purpose, we propose to allocate RM125 million annually for the implementation of the scheme, which will provide free healthcare services for 250,000 families, or one million Selangorians who earn a monthly household income of RM3,000 and below,” Azmin said.
“Those who were born in Selangor or lived in Selangor for 10 years would be entitled to the medical coverage, he said when presenting Selangor Budget 2017 in the state legislative assembly today.
“The scheme will be managed by third party healthcare administrator Selgate Corporation, which will fund RM500 annually for each eligible family,” reported Malaysiakini.
This is an effort which has been long time in coming, especially in one of the most developed states in Malaysia, which has been criticised for hoarding money for saving rather than spending on the rakyat.
Azmin would definitely be gearing up for the general elections with such an initiative, but at a time when pockets are empty, it is a much welcome effort by the rakyat.
Rakyat in other states too can start pushing their state governments, be they BN, PAS or DAP, to propose a likewise initiative.
If at all Azmin keeps true to his word and ensure this works, and the other state government follow suit, then, this might just be the start of the rakyat’s hopes for a National Health Service Scheme for Malaysians nationwide.
However, if Azmin fails to keep an eye on the third party in charge of the scheme, this will be his loss of one million votes.
Source : Zakiah Koya@The Heat Malaysia Online