KUALA LUMPUR: Some 1.9 million workers aged 40 and above who are contributors to the Social Security Organisation (Socso) are eligible for a free health screening beginning January next year.
Human Resource Minister Datuk Seri Dr S.Subramaniam said this was to identify those at risk of getting non-communicable diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease, as well as to check cholesterol levels, and for prostate cancer in men and cervical/breast cancer in women through Pap smear/mammogram.
“The medical examination required will be determined by a consultant committee comprising specialists,” he said after attending a meeting between Socso and the Malaysian Medical Council, here, yesterday.
Dr Subramaniam said the health screening was needed to be done only once with the cost to be borne by Socso.
The free health screening programme was announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak when tabling the 2013 Budget on Sept 28, to ensure workers’ good health and productivity in contributing to their respective companies and to the national economy.
Dr Subramaniam said Socso had set the age limit at 40 for the health screenihg as that was regarded as the best age to detect various diseases.
“When you ask people at age 35 (about their health), they say everything is OK but at 40, they’ve already got all kinds of diseases … hypertension, diabetes and so on.”
He said for a start, Socso would allocate RM200 for the programme and then RM20 million each year.
“Between 140,000 and 150,000 workers are eligible for the free health screening in a year,” he said, adding that it would be conducted at 2,719 private clinics on Socso’s panel by using special vouchers to be given out to the employers.
However, he said, in remote areas without the availability of a panel clinic, the health screening could be done at the nearest health clinic.
“For clinics that are not on Socso’s panel but interested to participate in this programme, they can register with Socso,” he added. — Bernama