SIBU: Heart patients top the list of recipients for the Health Ministry’s Medical Relief Fund (MAF) this year, says its minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba.
Of the total 1,871 recipients seeking financial aid, some 618 were heart patients.
Speaking at the presentation of the financial assistance to 10 recipients here on Wednesday (Sept 16), Dr Adham said the programme aims to assist poor patients to either cover part or full medical treatment, purchase of rehabilitation equipment or medicine.
“This assistance is to help the recipients improve their health so that they can continue with their life and contribute to society and the economy of the country,” he added.
He said the second highest recipients for the fund for this year were orthopedic patients with 451 followed by otorhinolaryngology (head and neck) patients at 242.
“For this year until Aug 31, the Health Ministry has approved applications from 1,871 people with financial aid totalling RM23mil. The amount of financial aid for the three disciplines (1,311 patients) alone was RM18.8mil or 80% of the total amount given out this year,” he said.
As for Sarawak, he said RM2.74mil was approved for this year covering 171 patients, of which orthopedic patients were the most with 71 people.
He said since the fund was introduced in 2005, a total of 63,000 patients nationwide had benefited from it.
“The fund started in 2005 with an allocation of RM25mil. The amount was increased to RM40mil per year from 2014 onwards so as to assist more poor patients,” he said.
The total number of recipients in 2017 was 5,814 people involving RM49mil; 2018 with 6,024 recipients involving RM53mil, and 2019 with 4,503 recipients receiving RM46mil.