GEORGE TOWN, Nov 2 ― Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng announced a RM60 million health programme for households with a total income of RM5,000 and below during the tabling of the 2018 state budget today.
The programme will benefit around 195,000 households, which is about half of the over 400,000 households in the state.
“Each year, each eligible household will be given a RM300 credit in an ‘I Love Penang’ card to pay for outpatient medical services and medications capped at RM50 per visit,” he told the state legislative assembly here.
Unmarried individuals earning less than RM2,500 monthly will get a RM150 credit each year, also capped at RM50 per visit.
The state will also continue its free mammogram examination programme for women above 35 years.
“More than 10,000 women have benefited and RM3.2 million has been allocated for next year,” he said.
A total of 30,000 women are expected to undergo free mammogram by 2020.
Lim said the health programme is estimated to cost RM60 million a year.
He added that the state initiative is to help ease the medical financial burdens of the working class.
The “I Love Penang Card” announced earlier by Lim is also a state initiative for the social welfare of the state residents.
The chief minister said the smart card will make it easier for the state government to streamline management and disbursement of financial aid for its welfare programmes.
“It will make lives a lot more convenient for Penangites and maybe soon, a virtual card in the form of a mobile app can be installed on smartphones for access to payments, benefits and amenities,” he said.
The Penang Institute will be handling the implementation of the smart card and Lim announced the state think tank’s budget for next year will be raised to RM4.5 million.