The Health Ministry pines for a bigger budget next year with a growing demand for public health services. (pix by AHMAD IRHAM MOHD NOOR)

CYBERJAYA: The Health Ministry pines for a bigger budget next year with a growing demand for public health services.

Its minister Datuk Seri S. Subramaniam said the RM23 billion allocation it had received under the 2017 budget was not enough.

"The government is continuously fulfilling its social responsibility towards the people by providing them with excellent healthcare services at minimal fee.

"But, we need bigger allocation because the (current) budget does not commensurate with the medical cost," he said at the groundbreakig ceremony of Cyberjaya Hospital.

Also present were Cyberview Sdn Bhd chairman Tan Sri Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah, Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, Cyberview Sdn Bhd acting managing director Mohd Najib Ibrahim, Gadang Holdings chairman Tan Sri Mohamed Ismail Merican, Gadang Holdings managing director and chief executive officer Tan Sri Kok Onn and Gadang Engineering (M) Sdn Bhd executivr director Datuk Chan Ah Kam.

To a question, Dr Noor Hisham said the ministry's budget would get additional allocation of between 10 and 15 per cent every year.

He said 55 per cent of the ministry's budget went to emolument and the rest for development, medical and treatment cost including the medical subsidy enjoyed by Malaysians.

"To meet the growing demand, we are optimising our expenditure," said Dr Noor Hisham.

Malaysia currently have about 45,000 doctors nationwide, with one doctor for every 650 people.

He said there was a rising trend in the number of patients seeking treatment at government medical facilities.

"We are seeing additional 10 million outpatients last year compared to the 45 million received in 2015.

"For those warded, we are seeing 100,000 extra patients last year compared to the year before," he said.

For this year, he said all indicators were showing growing number of patients, but the actual number would only be released by the year end.

"We have also received reports that there are between 20 and 30 per cent less number of patients seeking treatment at private medical facilities," he added.

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