Malaysia

1 Care blueprint ready in two years, says Liow

By Yow Hong Chieh
March 15, 2012
Latest Update: March 15, 2012 10:34 pm

File picture of a nurse treating a child in a 1 Malaysia Clinic in Kuala Lumpur. The government has yet to decide on the model to use for the 1 Care healthcare system. — Picture by Choo Choy MayFile picture of a nurse treating a child in a 1 Malaysia Clinic in Kuala Lumpur. The government has yet to decide on the model to use for the 1 Care healthcare system. — Picture by Choo Choy MayKUALA LUMPUR, March 15 — The blueprint for the controversial 1 Care healthcare system will only be done in two years, Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said today.

The health minister said the government had yet to decide which model to use and that it was too early for critics to jump to any conclusions.

“We haven’t even decided what model to use yet. We haven’t finalised it. The blueprint will be ready in two years,” he said in Parliament.

He was replying to a supplementary question from Kota Melaka MP Sim Tong Him.

Liow stressed that no decision had yet been made on which healthcare model to adopt for 1 Care as discussions with stakeholders were still at an early stage.

“We haven’t decided what system to use, whether the EPF system, hybrid system... or the taxation system.

“There are many systems, many models, so we would like to engage the public and get their views first,” he said.

The MCA deputy president said once the blueprint was ready, the government will engage in more public consultation to ensure that the new healthcare model was acceptable to all.

1 Care has come under heavy fire from healthcare practitioners and the public, who claim individuals and businesses will be forced to hand over 10 per cent of their earnings each month to a federal insurance fund.

The scheme is expected to replace the current two-tier healthcare system with one that integrates both private and government hospitals in the hope of ensuring more equitable healthcare for Malaysians of all classes.

Under the present system, patients can choose to seek treatment at either private clinics or hospitals and pay out of their own pockets or opt for government clinics or hospitals instead, where they will pay a nominal fee for basic, federally subsidised healthcare.

The ministry has assured critics that the 1 Care scheme will not burden the public with undue costs, saying that talks on the financial arrangements that will be made available and their impact on the government and taxpayers were ongoing.