Louder call for better delivery of medicines to Sarawak, Sabah

Dennis (right) comforts the Penan child being treated at Long Jekitan
Rural Clinic in Baram.

Dennis (right) comforts the Penan child being treated at Long Jekitan Rural Clinic in Baram.

MIRI: Telang Usan assemblyman Dennis Ngau is the latest to join the growing line-up of state leaders urging the Ministry of Health (MoH) to review its decision to limit the supply of medicines to patients from three months to one month.

In rural parts of Sarawak, the travelling expense of going to see a doctor often outweighs the actual cost of receiving treatment.

In government clinics and hospitals, an outpatient need only pay RM1 per visit and RM5 to see a specialist.

Medicine is given for free.

During his last visit to Long Jekitan Rural Clinic, Dennis forked up RM500 to help send a Penan baby scalded by hot cooking oil to Miri for treatment.

This highlighted the heavy financial burden borne by rural people to transport the sick to towns to get medical treatment, which would be made worse by the decision to limit medicine supply, he pointed out.

Dennis suggested that the divisional Health Office should come up with better ways to send the medicines such as by delivering them to the nearest clinics to the patients.

He also suggested a ‘one country, two administrations’ system of governance that would give greater autonomy to Sarawak.

He noted the East Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak were unique and Putrajaya tended to make policies which disregarded the needs and peculiarities of the two states.

“I don’t deny that sometimes when the federal government makes a policy, it forgets that Sabah and Sarawak may not fit well into the policy,” he said.

He further said the two states should be given greater autonomy to decide what would be best for them; instead of being forced to implement what the federal government had decided.

Other state leaders who have spoken out in recent days to urge the MoH to review its recent move to limit the supply of medicine include Assistant Minister of Local Government Datu Dr Penguang Manggil and Assistant Minister for Science Research and Biotechnology Dr Annuar Rapaee.

Dr Annuar has urged the government to work out an effective mechanism to deliver medicine to patients, especially those in rural areas.

He said the government needed to find a mechanism where it would not cost extra for patients to come to the hospital.

They were commenting on Deputy Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahaya’s recent statement in the Dewan Rakyat that the MoH was limiting the supply of medicines dispensed to patients from three months to one month to combat wastage.

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Source: http://miri.my/2016/11/22/louder-call-for-better-delivery-of-medicines-to-sarawak-sabah/