Under New Malaysia, the healthcare industry is also set to witness improvements. During the tabling of Budget 2019 on 2 November 2018, Minister of Finance Lim Guan Eng announced a 7.8% increase in allocation for health services from RM27bil in 2018 to RM29bil this year.
According to the nutritional status among adolescents aged 10 – 17 years old in Malaysia, obesity cases witness a significant increase over the course of 5 years from 453,200 in 2012 to 516,000 in 2017. Stunting and thinness incidences both saw improvements while overweight cases saw a slight increase.
Looking specifically into number of stunting incidences in Malaysia, Sabah & Labuan has the highest number of cases in 2017 for adolescents aged 10-17 years old – 40,400. Additionally, Sabah & Labuan saw the most improvement compared to other states in the country with 15,800 less cases in 2017.
On the contrary, Perlis saw the least improvement only 100 less cases in 2017.
On the other hand, stunting cases in Kuala Lumpur remains the same from 2012 to 2017, at 10,700 cases reported. While others saw a decrease in number of cases in 2017, Putrajaya is the only one that records an increase with 100 additional cases in 2017.
Overall, stunting cases has seen major improvements in the course of 5 years from 369,500 in 2012 to 286,800 in 2017 that is 82,700 cases less. In November 2018, Minister of Women, Family and Community Development Datuk Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said that the government takes a serious view of malnutrition amongst children and will be establishing a roadmap focused on combating the root cause and not the symptoms.