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SOCSO confirms enhanced edition of Health Screening Programme 3.0 for employees in Malaysia

SOCSO confirms enhanced edition of Health Screening Programme 3.0 for employees in Malaysia

This comes as the agency is taking proactive measures to control non-communicable diseases (NCD) in the nation.

Malaysia's Social Security Organisation (SOCSO, or PERKESO) will be reintroducing an improved Health Screening Programme (HSP 3.0) under Budget 2023.

The initiative aims to encourage employees to assess their health, and increase engagement in the programmes aimed at preventing non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

This is set against the backdrop in which the three common NCDs – cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes – have resulted in losses to Malaysia's economy estimated at RM12.88bn, as shared by the Ministry of Health. This amount, which is estimated to be about 1% of Malaysia's Gross Domestic Product, is not only due to medical bills but also periods of non-work due to illness, decreased productivity, early retirement and premature death among the country's workforce.

In addition to economic losses, NCDs were also reported to impact the sustainability of social security funds — since 2013, more than 40% of the total disability pension and 42.4% of the total disability pension paid are due to NCD cases.

Last year, over 23,174 cases of disability and death due to NCD were reported to SOCSO, with an average of 63 workers reported daily being unable to work anymore or having passed on due to NCDs.

However, the annual commitment for dialysis facilities alone has increased more than 300 times from only RM1.1mn in 1999 when PERKESO introduced the facility, to approximately RM342mn in 2022.This data was flagged as an area of worry as it is also accompanied by an increase in the number of households struggling to survive due to illness or loss of the family's main breadwinner.

With all this in mind, SOCSO aims to take proactive measures in controlling NCDs among workers.

SOCSO initially launched the 'flagship' Health Screening Programme in 2013 to promote awareness about health and initiate early intervention if necessary. To date, over 600,000 workers have been screened. SOCSO's analysis in 2022 found that more than 42% of screened workers had weight problems, 14.1% had diabetes, 27.9% had high blood pressure, and 61.2% had high cholesterol levels.

Looking at this significant trend, SOCSO will increase its investment in aspects of health promotion, including working with the government to support healthy lifestyles and change the mindset of employees towards prevention for their wellbeing.

Based on that, SOCSO introduced Vision Zero to guide employers in setting a different approach to the health, safety and wellbeing of their employees at work. SOCSO also actively participates in workplace health promotion programmes, including organising the Activ@Work Challenge every year. These efforts aim to increase physical activity among employees through their employers.


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Photo / Shutterstock

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