CYBERJAYA: Only 61% of schools checked by the Health Ministry since January have complied with the specifications prescribed under the government’s Supplementary Food Programme (RMT), said Khairy Jamaluddin.

“If you ask me as the Health Minister, the RM2.50 and RM3 spending (per serving per child) for Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan, respectively, is insufficient to foot expenditure for raw goods under the menu that we (Health Ministry) have prepared,” he said after launching Hematogenix Malaysia, Asia-Pacific’s first central clinical oncology research laboratory yesterday.

He was quick to add that this situation was not the doing of the Education Ministry, but rather due to the increase in prices of raw ingredients and other items lately.

“The allocation has to be increased, otherwise children are not getting the required nutrition at schools,” he said, adding that he would be raising a proposal to the Cabinet to ensure that full subsidy continues to be given to children from hardcore poor families.

There are 789,702 children in the group as of June 30.

Part of the subsidy is also given to children from other household groups to curb malnutrition.

To uplift the plight of these families, Khairy said he will propose that the ministry raise the current spending to at least RM4 for Peninsular Malaysia and RM5.50 for Sabah and Sarawak so that deserving children can get adequate nutritious food.

He added that he will raise the matter with the Education Ministry soon

On Hematogenix Malaysia, Khairy said it is an international standard laboratory that focuses on clinical research, especially in the field of cancer.

He said the laboratory provides added value to the MOH because it can be used for diagnostic purposes and cancer screening in Malaysia, in addition to handling samples from clinical research conducted in the country.

Hematogenix is ​​based in the United States and has branches in the United Kingdom and China, with the latest one here making its maiden foray into the Asia-Pacific region covering the markets of Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and South Korea.

On the buffer stock of government medicines that is managed by Pharmaniaga Bhd, Khairy said it has been distributed to private clinics since yesterday following the shortage of certain medicines in the market.

He attributed the current shortage of the medicines, especially for fever, cough and flu, to unexpected demand, compared to the period before the Covid-19 pandemic.

“If you go to private clinics, they have the paracetamol with the MOH stamp. We do sell the medicine from the buffer stock to them.

“There is paracetamol, (and) there will be cough syrup with the MOH stamp,” added Khairy, who had last week said that the distribution of medicines from the government stockpile would prioritise private clinics and hospitals that were short of medicines.”