Baram community appeals to the Ministry of Health for rural doctors, hospital

Kapitan Jee (sixth left) presenting a fire extinguisher to Melai Bali
from Long Buang witnessed by Dennis (seventh left) and other committee

Kapitan Jee (sixth left) presenting a fire extinguisher to Melai Bali from Long Buang witnessed by Dennis (seventh left) and other committee members.

LONG BEMANG: The Baram community is urging the Ministry of Health (MoH) to consider stationing a doctor at all eight health clinics here and to upgrade the Long Lama health clinic into a hospital to improve the standard and delivery of public healthcare in the rural constituency.

Telang Usan assemblyman Dennis Ngau disclosed this at a health camp cum outreach programme and telematch at Long Bemang, Baram on Saturday night.

He said seeking further treatment and consultation at hospitals or clinics in Marudi, Miri, and in some cases, Kuching, was still a major problem for the local community.

“Currently there are eight health clinics catering not only to the local community but also to logging companies in Baram. All eight clinics provide basic medical treatment and diagnosis by medical assistants stationed there. Serious health problems and cases for follow-up treatment are usually referred to hospitals either in Marudi or Miri or even further away in Kuching,” he said at the closing of the outreach programme organised by Lions Club of Miri Mandarin.

Apart from health clinics, the MoH also provides flying doctor services to serve rural communities throughout the state including Baram.

Dennis highlighted that due to the area’s geography and topography, it is costly for Baram locals to seek further treatment and follow-up in hospital and clinics in Marudi and Miri. Additionally, it is also very risky and dangerous to transfer the patients to these places as they have to travel via logging tracks.

“In most cases, patients or accident victims were transferred through helicopter service which is also subject to the weather,” he said. In view of this, he proposed for a doctor to be stationed at all eight health clinics in Baram.

“I understand and acknowledge it would be difficult to find doctors to serve in rural clinics due to the location and other reasons. Nevertheless, it would be much appreciated if the ministry could consider the people’s request to station some doctors, if possible, to all eight health clinics in the constituency,” Dennis said.

The assemblyman added that the cost of healthcare for the people of Baram could be further reduced by upgrading the Long Lama clinic to a hospital with improved facilities and health services.

Around 400 people from Long Bemang including Penan from Long Buang and Long Tujang turned up for treatment and medication from volunteer doctors throughout the three days-two nights outreach programme.

Apart from general health screening, the programme also included dental care and eye checks.

Volunteers from Lions clubs in Bintulu, Keningau and Tenom in Sabah, as well as Taiwan also participated in the outreach. The Lions also donated school uniforms, fire extinguishers and free hair cuts to the residents of Long Bemang, Long Buang and Long Tujang.

Present at the programme were Lions Club of Miri Mandarin president Kapitan Jee Kee Hiong, past district governor Dr Tan Tsu Khon who also served as the medical team leader, Long Lama Senior Administrative Officer Peing Anyie and community leaders Usung Deng, Along Juk and Melai Bali from Long Bemang, Long Tujang and Long Buang respectively.