KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 19 — Reduced allocations for the Health Ministry this year has hurt the ability of public hospitals to conducting pathology tests, DAP's Kulai MP Teo Nie Ching asserted today.
In a press conference at the Parliament lobby, Teo said she received several complaints of hospitals being unable to carry out the laboratory tests due to a lack of resources.
She said that in a September 6 circular, the Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital in Klang said that pathology laboratory investigations would be temporarily stopped as the department was unable to purchase chemical reagents.
"Selayang Hospital also did not have chemical reagents to run creatinine blood test in the end of September," she said.
Some public clinics also stopped screening pregnant women for Hepatitis B due to the same reason, she added.
The Health Ministry budget was cut by RM280 million in Budget 2016 compared to the previous year.
Teo pointed out that the Prime Minister's Department had its allocation increased from RM19.2 billion to RM20.3 billion at the same time.
"What projects under the PM's Department can be more important than saving lives?" she asked.
This comes as Deputy Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahya yesterday said that his ministry could not afford to get any less allocations for the coming year without compromising the quality of public health care.
"We can't afford any budget cut right now. What we have at the moment is just enough," The Star reported him as saying.
"We would want an additional budget, but if we don't get it, at least maintain the figure," he added.