Women’s ministry seeks more funds

PETALING JAYA: The Women, Family and Community Development Ministry has requested for a higher Budget 2018 allocation than the RM1.9bil received last year, said its minister Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim.

The requested budget is for eight targeted groups, including women, children, the elderly and people with disabilities.

“If you minus the RM1.5bil dedicated to welfare from the RM1.9bil budget we’ve been given, we don’t have much left,” said Rohani.

“Of course, our hope is that our allocation in Budget 2018 will either remain the same or increase.”

Rohani said some of the funds would be directed to Wellness of Women programmes, such as for medical screening, pap smears and HPV shots for cervical cancer.

In the previous budget, RM30mil was allocated to provide mammogram screening to women from low-income households with high risk of developing breast cancer.

“Breast cancer is still the number one killer of women in Malaysia,” she said, adding that the budget also covered the associated costs of breast cancer treatment, such as for prosthesis.

“The special ‘bra’ for women with breast cancer can cost between RM800 and RM1,200.

“These things will increase the confidence of a woman (after she has undergone surgery),” she said at the launch of Beacon Hospital’s RM2mil chemotherapy fund for breast cancer patients.

The Beacon Hospital chemotherapy fund is available for an estimated 200 patients with a household income of less than RM5,000.

After the 90% subsidy by Beacon Hospital, the selected applicants are only required to pay RM500 per session.