KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 18 — An additional 3,500 medical and health officers will be recruited by the government that will cost RM150 million, as part of the newly announced Permai aid package.
Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin when making the announcement said the new officers will be in addition to the 8,000 officers employed by the Health Ministry (MOH) last year.
“They will be made up of assistant medical officers, paramedics, laboratory technicians, and nurses.
“My commitment is that the government will increase the recruitment of healthcare professionals should the need arise to support the immunisation programme,” Muhyiddin said during his address this evening.
He also announced that private hospitals have agreed to take in and treat both Covid-19 and non-Covid-19 patients to ease the burden on the public healthcare system.
“The government will allocate RM100 million for this purpose,” he said on their cooperation with private hospitals.
These allocations would be part of the RM1 billion set aside from the Permai aid package, parked under its first objective; to strengthen the healthcare system in combating Covid-19.
The allocation will also be channelled towards procuring supplies, reagents and testing kits, as well as personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontliners.
Muhyiddin also reiterated how the country’s Vaccination Programme is on track, adding how guidelines and methods on receiving and administering the vaccine will be announced soon, and how the programme will span at least over a period of 12 months.
“This means the first batch is expected to be vaccinated by early March, and Malaysia is expected to meet its target of vaccinating more than 80 per cent of its population or close to 27 million people by the first quarter of 2022,” he said this evening.
Additionally, Muhyiddin said that relevant religious authorities have approved the use of the vaccine in Malaysia.
“I would also like to share that the Special Muzakarah Committee of the National Council for Malaysian Islamic Affairs has decreed that the Covid-19 vaccine is allowed, and is a necessity for specific groups.
“Ensuring the welfare of the community by protecting people from being infected by dangerous diseases is not something new from the Syarak (Islamic) perspective,” he added.
Muhyiddin also announced that on-off aids or RM500 for healthcare frontliners and RM300 to non-health frontliners will be paid out in the first quarter of the year, and ensuring that their RM600 and RM200 respective monthly allowances will continue to be paid out.
Additionally, Muhyiddin said that a RM1,000 individual tax-relief announced as part of Budget 2021 for full health screenings has been expanded to cover Covid-19 screenings as well.
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