‘Health, education in rural areas a priority’

Dr Annuar (fourth right), Dennis (fourth right) and Dr Jamilah (second right) join others in showing thumbs-up for the provision of a new fundus camera at one of the units under the cluster clinic.

Dr Annuar signs a plaque to mark the official opening of Long Lama Cluster Clinic. He is flanked by Dennis and Dr Jamilah.

Dr Annuar (seated, centre), flanked by Dennis on his right and Dr Jamilah, joins other local medical personnel in a group photo after the official opening of the cluster clinic.

LONG LAMA: The state government will focus on improving the infrastructure related to health and education in the rural areas.

According to Assistant Minister of Housing and Public Health Dr Annuar Rapaee, the move includes placing full-time medical officers at 116 clinics across rural Sarawak, all of which are currently facing staff shortage.

“We will also deploy medical officers to serve in remote areas across Sarawak.

“This requires a comprehensive plan as we do not want for it to start off well, only to see that the services (by medical personnel) become unavailable after two or three months. We must ensure that we would be able to keep up with the services.

“With higher number of doctors, we are confident that the healthcare services at every clinic in Sarawak including those in the rural areas would be enhanced further,” he told reporters after officiating at the launch of the ‘Cluster Clinic’ at Long Lama Health Clinic on Wednesday.

Dr Annuar, also the Assistant Minister of Education and Technological Research, said this first cluster clinic in Sarawak was established through the centralisation and resource-sharing of 11 adjacent clinics providing various services such as phototherapy, chemistry analysis, fundus photography and ambulatory, under one roof.

“With the existence of this cluster clinic, the public here would no longer need to travel far – especially to Miri – and spend lots of money to obtain certain health services.

“We are also planning to establish another cluster clinic at Sungai Asap Health Clinic in Belaga next year,” he said, adding that the establishment of the Long Lama Cluster Clinic would enhance the development in the Rural Growth Centre (RGC) here further.

On a related matter, Dr Annuar said a comprehensive report would be required to identify the needs of all 204 health clinics across the state.

“The officers from Sarawak Health Department and I will do our best to present a full report on 204 clinics throughout Sarawak. We want to identify the needs of each clinic, including the placement of medical officers.

“I want to focus on rural clinics – it is time for the rural folk to enjoy good health services,” he pointed out.

The launch was witnessed by Telang Usan assemblyman Dennis Ngau, state Health director Dr Jamilah Hashim and divisional medical officer Dr Veronica Lugah.

Source: http://www.theborneopost.com/2017/11/03/health-education-in-rural-areas-a-priority/