Decline in ringgit has minimal impact on medical costs

The decline in the value of the ringgit has minimal impact on the government’s procurement of medicines from overseas as prices had been “locked in” much earlier via hedging strategy, says health minister Dzulkefly Ahmad.

The ministry used the hedging strategy against the fluctuation in foreign exchange rates, and avoided purchasing medicines at higher prices.

“In any procurement, we implement the hedging strategy. This means purchases are made in advance to avoid being affected by fluctuating currencies. So we buy and ‘lock in’ early.

“Because of that, even though our currency has declined a little in the last few days, the actual cost (for the purchase of medicines from overseas) is based on the price we have ‘locked in’,” he was quoted as saying by Bernama at an event in Tanjong Karang.

He also said that the current low exchange rate for the ringgit has a positive impact on the medical tourism sector, as more overseas patients could come to Malaysia for their healthcare treatment