Abang Johari speaks during the opening of the Sarawak Mental Health Conference 2023 here today. – Photo by Roystein Emmor

KUCHING (Aug 5): The Sarawak government is committed to improving all health infrastructure in the state, said Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.

He said this commitment is in line with the state’s vision of moving towards rapid development and achieving a modern economy.

Towards this end, he said the Sarawak government is negotiating with the federal government to upgrade all the health infrastructure for the benefit of Sarawakians.

“Although health is a matter under the federal government, we (Sarawak) have authority over public health. For this reason, under our Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) negotiations with the federal government, we want a certain autonomy and an integrated approach to improve our health infrastructure,” he said when opening the sixth Sarawak Mental Health Conference 2023 at a hotel here today.

Abang Johari said the state government had set aside RM200 million to establish the Sarawak Infectious Disease Centre and RM1.2 billion for the establishment of the Sarawak Cancer Centre.

He added that both the centres would be located in Kota Samarahan, near the Sarawak Heart Centre.

He said the federal government had made it clear that there was not enough funds to build the cancer centre, and therefore the state government would build it first and the federal government to pay the state later.

“It doesn’t matter, I’m trying to find money to build it and what matters is that our people must get good health services.

“The state government under my leadership gives fair emphasis for both economic development and the welfare of the people,” he said.

Abang Johari also pledged a RM100,000 government grant in aid of the Sentosa Hospital to carry out its programmes.