With non-communicable diseases increasing significantly each year and cases of people with chronic kidney disease having more than one or more comorbidities such as diabetes, this is an ongoing funding problem that will not go away simply by excluding a group of people.
Perhaps with disruption and competition from social health insurance which caps payouts to private healthcare providers at more reasonable and transparent levels, can the escalating healthcare costs be finally brought under control.
In order to secure the best possible outcome in responding to the threat of NCDs, the Ministry of Health should get the funds it needs to fully operationalise PeKa B40 as part of the National Strategic Plan For Non-Communicable Disease 2016-2025.
There are a number of concerns raised related to mySalam which needs to be addressed to provide assurance to those signing up for the insurance scheme.
Earmarking this revenue, along with that collected from tobacco and alcohol, will help address the current shortfall in funding for NCD prevention programmes.
It is unfortunate that there was no announcement of the development of a long-term solution to healthcare financing such as a social health insurance scheme for all.
Will we finally have national health insurance?
We recommend, as a pilot programme, that the Government earmarks an initial 5 percent from the collected sin tax revenue to strengthen NCD health promotion and treatment, focusing initially on diabetes and cancer.