“Silent Killers” Cost Socso Over RM627 Million Last Year
Here’s a scary fact: About 40 Malaysian employees die or become incapable of working every day due to the gamut of non-communicable diseases (NCD), dubbed the “silent killers.”
In 2014, Socso lost RM627,401,831 in invalidity payments and survivors’ pension due to NCD-related deaths. Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri Richard Riot said a total of 8,912 Socso members became invalid and 5,554 died as a result of these silent killers.
This was also reflected in the claims for invalidity or survivors’ pension made to Socso, where almost 34% and 50% of the claims respectively were due to NCD.
Riot said the high prevalence of NCDs, which include obesity, diabetes, hypertension and hypercholesterolaemia, especially among those above 40 years of age, is putting the nation’s workforce under threat as it leads to a direct decrease in productivity.
In response to high NCD rates, Socso introduced the Health Screening Programme (HSP) in 2013 to offer members comprehensive health screening vouchers once they turn 40.
However, out of the 2.1 million vouchers distributed in 2013, only 429,633 have been used up till June 29 this year. Of the 206,000 vouchers distributed this year, only 5.6% or 11,601 were used.
Of the 387,028 people who underwent the HSP from January 2013 to December 31 last year, 67% had not undergone a comprehensive health screening before.
More alarmingly, the health screens found that 39% were overweight, 34% were obese, 27% were hypertensive, 9% have diabetes and a whopping 62% have hypercholesterolemia, which is an abnormally large amount of cholesterol in the blood.
Riot said that early detection is vital in preventing the progress of NCDs, but thought that many Malaysians continue to be ignorant or are in denial of their health status.