The Malaysian community's acceptance and willingness to pay for a National Health Financing Scheme

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objectives: Currently, Malaysia faces great challenges in allocating adequate resources for healthcare services using a tax-based system. Therefore, Malaysia has no choice but to reform its healthcare financing system. The objective of this study is to assess Malaysian household willingness to pay and acceptance levels to the proposed National Health Financing Scheme. Study design: This is a cross-sectional study. Methods: In total, 774 households from four states in Malaysia completed face-to-face interviews. A validated structured questionnaire was used, which was composed of a combination of open-ended questions, bidding games and contingent valuation methods regarding the participants' willingness to pay. Results: The study found that the majority of households supported the establishment of the National Health Financing Scheme, and half proposed that a government body should manage the scheme. Most (87.5%) of the households were willing to contribute 0.5–1% of their salaries to the scheme through monthly deductions. Over three-quarters (76.6%) were willing to contribute to a higher level scheme (1–2%) to gain access to both public and private healthcare basic services. Willingness to pay for the National Health Financing Scheme was significantly higher among younger persons, females, those located in rural areas, those with a higher income and those with an illness. Conclusion: There is a high level of acceptance for the National Health Financing Scheme in the Malaysian community, and they are willing to pay for a scheme organised by a government body. However, acceptance and willingness to pay are strongly linked to household socio-economic status. Policymakers should initiate plans to establish the National Health Financing Scheme to provide the necessary financing for a sustainable health system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-137
Number of pages9
JournalPublic Health
Volume175
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2019

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Healthcare Financing
Malaysia
Delivery of Health Care
Salaries and Fringe Benefits
Taxes
Cross-Sectional Studies
Economics
Interviews
Health

Keywords

  • Health financing
  • National Health Financing Scheme
  • Social health insurance
  • Willingness to pay

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

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title = "The Malaysian community's acceptance and willingness to pay for a National Health Financing Scheme",
abstract = "Objectives: Currently, Malaysia faces great challenges in allocating adequate resources for healthcare services using a tax-based system. Therefore, Malaysia has no choice but to reform its healthcare financing system. The objective of this study is to assess Malaysian household willingness to pay and acceptance levels to the proposed National Health Financing Scheme. Study design: This is a cross-sectional study. Methods: In total, 774 households from four states in Malaysia completed face-to-face interviews. A validated structured questionnaire was used, which was composed of a combination of open-ended questions, bidding games and contingent valuation methods regarding the participants' willingness to pay. Results: The study found that the majority of households supported the establishment of the National Health Financing Scheme, and half proposed that a government body should manage the scheme. Most (87.5{\%}) of the households were willing to contribute 0.5–1{\%} of their salaries to the scheme through monthly deductions. Over three-quarters (76.6{\%}) were willing to contribute to a higher level scheme (1–2{\%}) to gain access to both public and private healthcare basic services. Willingness to pay for the National Health Financing Scheme was significantly higher among younger persons, females, those located in rural areas, those with a higher income and those with an illness. Conclusion: There is a high level of acceptance for the National Health Financing Scheme in the Malaysian community, and they are willing to pay for a scheme organised by a government body. However, acceptance and willingness to pay are strongly linked to household socio-economic status. Policymakers should initiate plans to establish the National Health Financing Scheme to provide the necessary financing for a sustainable health system.",
keywords = "Health financing, National Health Financing Scheme, Social health insurance, Willingness to pay",
author = "Aizuddin, {Azimatun Noor} and Saperi Sulong and {Syed Junid}, {Syed Mohamed Al-Junid}",
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N2 - Objectives: Currently, Malaysia faces great challenges in allocating adequate resources for healthcare services using a tax-based system. Therefore, Malaysia has no choice but to reform its healthcare financing system. The objective of this study is to assess Malaysian household willingness to pay and acceptance levels to the proposed National Health Financing Scheme. Study design: This is a cross-sectional study. Methods: In total, 774 households from four states in Malaysia completed face-to-face interviews. A validated structured questionnaire was used, which was composed of a combination of open-ended questions, bidding games and contingent valuation methods regarding the participants' willingness to pay. Results: The study found that the majority of households supported the establishment of the National Health Financing Scheme, and half proposed that a government body should manage the scheme. Most (87.5%) of the households were willing to contribute 0.5–1% of their salaries to the scheme through monthly deductions. Over three-quarters (76.6%) were willing to contribute to a higher level scheme (1–2%) to gain access to both public and private healthcare basic services. Willingness to pay for the National Health Financing Scheme was significantly higher among younger persons, females, those located in rural areas, those with a higher income and those with an illness. Conclusion: There is a high level of acceptance for the National Health Financing Scheme in the Malaysian community, and they are willing to pay for a scheme organised by a government body. However, acceptance and willingness to pay are strongly linked to household socio-economic status. Policymakers should initiate plans to establish the National Health Financing Scheme to provide the necessary financing for a sustainable health system.

AB - Objectives: Currently, Malaysia faces great challenges in allocating adequate resources for healthcare services using a tax-based system. Therefore, Malaysia has no choice but to reform its healthcare financing system. The objective of this study is to assess Malaysian household willingness to pay and acceptance levels to the proposed National Health Financing Scheme. Study design: This is a cross-sectional study. Methods: In total, 774 households from four states in Malaysia completed face-to-face interviews. A validated structured questionnaire was used, which was composed of a combination of open-ended questions, bidding games and contingent valuation methods regarding the participants' willingness to pay. Results: The study found that the majority of households supported the establishment of the National Health Financing Scheme, and half proposed that a government body should manage the scheme. Most (87.5%) of the households were willing to contribute 0.5–1% of their salaries to the scheme through monthly deductions. Over three-quarters (76.6%) were willing to contribute to a higher level scheme (1–2%) to gain access to both public and private healthcare basic services. Willingness to pay for the National Health Financing Scheme was significantly higher among younger persons, females, those located in rural areas, those with a higher income and those with an illness. Conclusion: There is a high level of acceptance for the National Health Financing Scheme in the Malaysian community, and they are willing to pay for a scheme organised by a government body. However, acceptance and willingness to pay are strongly linked to household socio-economic status. Policymakers should initiate plans to establish the National Health Financing Scheme to provide the necessary financing for a sustainable health system.

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