Kit Siang Sees Red over Massive Cut in Funds for Public Health, Curative Care

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DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang has urged Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz to restore the cuts in funds for public health and curative care in the annual budget.

The Iskandar Puteri MP said the budget was a “great disappointment and a major letdown” as it went against the World Health Organization’s (WHO) advice to better prepare for the next wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic must be fought with all available resources, but it must not be at the cost of critical health goals for Malaysia.

Mukhriz Hazim

“It is particularly heart-rending that the Budget 2021 had slashed billions of ringgit for curative care and public health, including deep cuts for cancer and kidney diseases,” said Lim in a statement.

He said allocations in the budget should be recast as it had failed to fulfil the target of being a “Unity Budget”.

A sum of RM1 billion was allocated to fighting Covid-19, including RM475 million for equipment and supplies for the health ministry and RM318 million for frontliners’ personal protective equipment (PPE) and hand sanitisers.

Yesterday, medical groups had expressed their disappointment over the diversion of resources to fund the Covid-19 crisis, which has resulted in cuts for treatment of non-communicable diseases, such as cancer, kidney disease and cardiovascular diseases. – FMT