Factors Affecting Quality of Life of Medical Assistance Recipients of Zakat Fund in Malaysia
Poor people generally have difficulty in accessing good healthcare services. This can consequently lead them to have a lower quality of life. This paper investigates whether zakat medical assistance helps improve the health of the aṣnāf (zakat recipients) and in turn upgrade their quality of life. The crosstab analysis of 60 respondents in Penang, Kelantan and Negeri Sembilan in 2014 shows that 93.4 percent of the aṣnāf reported that zakat medical assistance has increased their quality of life. Meanwhile, multiple regression analysis shows that among the predictors of health, income and education, health status is the significant predictor of quality of life of the zakat recipients. These findings would be useful for policy makers, especially the State Islamic Religious Councils, in order to focus on improving the level of quality of life of the aṣnāf and continue to increase the allocation of medical financial assistance from zakat to the eligible aṣnāf. At the micro level, the medical assistance rendered would help improve both health status and quality of life. As a result, zakat has great potential to be one of the economic tools to alleviate poverty among Muslims in Malaysia.
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