Malaysians above the age of 50 are set to enjoy four benefits under the PeKa B40, a healthcare protection scheme by Health Ministry which will kick start from March. (NSTP/AHMAD IRHAM MOHD NOOR)

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysians above the age of 50 are set to enjoy four benefits under the PeKa B40, a healthcare protection scheme by Health Ministry which will kick start from March.

The four benefits are free health screening, free medical equipment, incentives to complete cancer treatments, and transport incentives, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad said today.

He said recipients of the scheme could check on their eligibility to receive the free health screening via PeKa B40 website which will be made available starting March.

“And if they qualify, they can visit any clinics, either private or government clinics which are registered as PeKa B40 clinics with their MyKad. The health screenings will be conducted only during the first visit to the clinic.

“For the health screening, patients will undergo blood test, diagnosis test, cholesterol test, urine test, and kidney functions test. They will also be checked for mental health, breast cancer and prostate cancer, if needed,” he added.

He added that subsequent check-ups and follow up treatments will be referred to government clinics, if they are diagnosed with any diseases.

“While for recipients who do not have any health problems and complications based on the screening, they will be referred to the ‘Sihat Cergas’ programme, a wellness programme under the ministry. This is in hopes of creating a healthy nation,” he added.

Dzulkefly said for the medical equipment aid, a maximum of RM20,000 is allocated for patients seeking treatment at government hospitals only.

Among the equipment given by the ministry are stent for heart diseases, artificial joints, hearing aid, intraocular lens, wheelchairs and oxygen concentrator.

He said for the cancer treatment, recipients will be given RM1,000 in phases, based on the stage of treatment, if they complete their treatments at government facilities.

Recipients will also be given transport incentives of up to RM500 (peninsular Malaysia) and RM1,000 (Sabah and Sarawak) yearly, for every disease they are diagnosed with.

“This also depends on the distance. If they live near to the clinic or hospital, then the incentive will be calculated based on the distance they have to travel,” he added.

The PeKa B40 programme was announced in the 2019 Budget with an allocation of RM100 million.

Dzulkefly said the RM100 million budget will benefit 800,000 recipients of Cost of Living Aid (BSH) 2019 who are in the Bottom 40 (B40) category.

The scheme also do not need any registration as they are picked based on the BSH system. However, they will be chosen based on ‘first come, first served’ basis.

“If they qualify for the treatment after the first health screening, then they will automatically qualify for the rest of the treatments offered under the PeKa B40,” he added.

The PeKa B40, a healthcare scheme is introduced to address the increasing prevalence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) among the low income groups in the country.

The scheme will be managed by ProtectHealth Corporation Sdn Bhd (PHCorp), a government-owned company established under the Health Ministry.

Dzulkefly also said the PeKa B40 and the mySalam, an insurance and takaful scheme for the B40, launched by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad last week would work hand-in-hand to help the under privileged to receive health treatments.

“Both programmes complement each other, whereby the mySalam is for BSH recipients between the age of 18 and 55 while the PeKa B40 is for those above the age of 50.

“The PeKa B40 is more for early detection of NCD to avoid people for bearing high costs for medical expenses later when they are diagnosed with serious diseases.

“The mySalam, on the other hand, is for those who already had been diagnosed with one of the 36 critical diseases,” he added.