The Health Ministry is looking at cutting its cost by considering increasing the use of generic medicine and leasing medical equipment.
Its deputy minister Hilmi Yahaya said generic drugs are copies of brand-name drugs that have the same dosage and effects as the original medicine.
Generic medicine is tested for bioequivalency, to ensure same medical benefits are given to patients as the original medicine.
“Now we use almost half generic medicine, half original medicine.
“As for the medical equipments, we are trying to buy in phases.
“If we need 10 machines, we just buy three or four first.
“We are also looking into renting so we can slowly pay over a few years,” he said.
Among machines the ministry is lacking are computerised tomography (CT) scanners, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines and ultrasound scanners.
He said some assets in government hospitals were 10 to 15 years old and were prone to breakdowns.
Meanwhile, Dr Hilmi said despite having to operate under budget constraints this year, his ministry is hopeful that Prime Minister Najib Razak will maintain the similar allocation in the upcoming Budget 2017.
In last year’s budget, the Health Ministry was slashed by 10 % during a revision earlier this year, losing nearly RM250mil.
“Hopefully we get the same amount as last year. Nothing less.
“We managed to cut down things like travelling, but we cannot cut salaries and we have to continue to give service to the rakyat the best we can,” he said.
Najib is scheduled to table Budget 2017 in Parliament this Friday.