Do we really need a Government run Health insurance scheme?


The Health Minister recently announced

PUTRAJAYA: The Health Ministry is seriously considering a national health insurance scheme which is run and supported by the government, the minister, Dr S Subramaniam, said yesterday.
He said the scheme would be voluntary and an alternative to private health care.
“There will be no private player (insurance company) and no profit motive. The government health insurance scheme will evolve according to time,” he told reporters.
“It is too early for me to give details such as the structure the scheme and so on. I am just throwing it out as a concept and let the relevant party discuss it.”
The move to introduce the government healthcare insurance scheme did not mean that the government plans to stop the current public healthcare delivery system.
“The government is still responsible to the public in providing the public healthcare system that everyone is utilising now. The public healthcare delivery will still continue and will not change.”
However, about half of Malaysians currently turn to private clinics and private hospitals for medical attention.
Subramaniam said the ministry had been studying the government healthcare insurance scheme concept for the past few months and analysing the challenges involved in implementing such a scheme.
“Once we are confident, we will offer it to the public,” he further said.
The ministry came up with the idea of introducing the government health insurance scheme as it was aware that one of the challenges for Malaysians was paying for healthcare services.
“Such a situation can get people into financial catastrophe. The government healthcare insurance scheme may just be the answer.”

Do you think the Government should be running a competing Health insurance scheme alongside the other Health insurance options available to the public?
I seriously doubt this is a good idea. Talk is easy but implementation will be very difficult.
Who is going to run this? Where will the funding come from? As they say, the devil is in the details.

Our take is that instead of running a parallel health insurance scheme the Government should instead regulate the existing Health insurance industry. Authorities should stick to doing what they do best – regulate.

1) Make Health insurance affordable by making sure premiums are reasonable
2) Make sure that insurance claims are not obstructed or delayed but instead paid up on time
3) Make sure that people with pre-existing illnesses and all ages (including the elderly) are not denied insurance cover
4) Come up with a website which helps people make comparisons and choices on available health insurance schemes (something like the US Affordable Healthcare website)

We blogged quite a bit on Health Insurance Reforms so instead of sounding like a broken record, please read our previous posts.


Malaysian physician, haematologist, blogger, web and tech enthusiast