Kota Kinabalu: The National Population and Family Development Board's (LPPKN) panel responsible for registering private clinics and hospitals for the mammogram subsidy programme is in the process of registering a private hospital in Sabah for the purpose.
LPPKN Sabah Director, Abd Halim Omar said Wednesday, pending registration of the hospital, the nearest destination for Malaysian women in Sabah who cannot wait to take up the RM50 government subsidy for women to undergo a mammogram is a private hospital in Miri, Sarawak.
"For registration with LPPKN, all private clinics and hospitals have to fulfil certain criteria laid down by the Board's panel entrusted with the task," he said when contacted.
Abd Halim was asked how many women in Sabah have taken up the RM50 government subsidy offer. It is only for women whose household monthly income is less than RM5,000.
Based on records from LPPKN, about 1,000 women in the country have undergone a mammogram at 50 registered private clinics and hospitals since May this year.
The announcement on the subsidy was made when Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi unveiled the 2007 Budget in September last year.
In his budget speech, he had said that there would be a RM50 subsidy for every mammogram done in private clinics and hospitals registered with LPPKN.
"This is to promote greater awareness of early detection for breast cancer," he was quoted as saying.
Medical experts say the mammogram is widely accepted and proven as a method of screening for breast cancer.