MIRI (Jan 14): Discussions on health autonomy for Sarawak are being refined by the federal government following the delivery of a White Paper and recommendations by the Sarawak government.
Deputy Health Minister Lukanisman Awang Sauni said this matter had to be thoroughly examined to determine the policy, since it involves a large expenditure, especially from the perspective of the emoluments of the staff of Ministry of Health.
“We are also preparing a White Paper on the future direction of the ministry. The same goes with the Sarawak government which is sending the White Paper and the proposals that we are refining.
“Of course, I agree with Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof where the discussion about health autonomy is being refined,” he told reporters when met after officiating at an event at Eastwood Valley Golf and Country Club here today.
Lukanisman said with autonomy on health, Sarawak would have the power to determine the development of healthcare facilities and clinics for the benefit of the people.
“This is what I always mentioned in parliament; about development that is dear to the heart of the people.
“This means that if we think it is appropriate to build a clinic in an area, the federal government needs to give us the freedom to decide the type of clinic because of the geography and demographics of the population in Sarawak,” he added.
On another development, Lukanisman, who is also Sibuti MP, said a health clinic in Sepupok, Niah, will be listed again in the 2023 Budget series.
“Last year the Ministry of Finance announced that one of the five new clinics in Malaysia would be sited in Sepupok.
“I can confirm that the clinic will be listed again in the (budget) presentation by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in mid-February,” he said.