Health insurance for foreign workers next year

IPOH: The Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme (VHIS) that will be introduced by next year will cover all foreign workers in this country in the first phase of introduction.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said that the non-privatised, non-profit insurance scheme will go for other groups in the next phase.

"We will move to other groups in the next phase, and after that the scheme will grow at a pace where we are comfortable with and that will allow the success of the initiative," he said.

Dr Subramaniam was speaking to reporters after performing the ground-breaking ceremony for Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Tamil (SJKT) Gunung Rapat here, today.

The minister noted that the scheme was meant to offer a more affordable alternative to the private sector and to allow the government to procure private sector health services at predetermined rates.

"This could also allow the government to offer the targeted assistance to select groups if needed.

"But this will not happen immediately because this insurance scheme has to evolve naturally and we hope our intentions will be achieved through this natural evolution," he said.

When tabling Budget 2018 on October 27, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced an allocation of RM50 million for the VHIS to bolster the health sector. — Bernama