MRC Miri hopes new dialysis centre ready by March 2021

Lee (front, second left) takes a closer look at the building design of the new dialysis centre in Permyjaya.

MIRI: The Malaysian Red Crescent (MRC) Miri Chapter is out to ensure that its second dialysis centre in Permyjaya would be ready by March next year.

According to Transport Minister Datuk Lee Kim Shin, who is also MRC Miri Vice-Chairman I, the works progress is currently at 50 per cent towards completion.

However, the RM5.43-million project had experienced some delay following the enforcement of the Movement Control Order (MCO) due to Covid-19 pandemic, he said.

In this respect, he called upon the contractor to expedite the works.

“We have been planning the setting-up of this Permyjaya centre for a few years already.

“The existing dialysis centre at Jalan Bulan Sabit is very congested – it now handles 342 patients.

“Thus, we need the Permyjaya centre in view of rising number of kidney patients in Miri,” he told reporters when met yesterday during his visit to the construction site in Permyjaya, next to the Industrial Training Institute (ILP) Miri.

The minister, who is Senadin assemblyman, was joined by Miri Hospital director Dr Jack Wong and Public Works Department (JKR) Miri divisional engineer Chong Chi Fam.

Lee said upon its completion, the new dialysis centre in Permyjaya would provide the service to patients living in the northern part of the city such as those in Kuala Baram, Permyjaya and Tudan.

“Once the new centre is open, these patients would not have to go to the present facility in the city’s central area; it would be much more convenient for them.”

On a separate subject, Lee wanted to clarify that MRC Miri is a non-governmental organisation (NGO) amidst a certain misconception about it being an entity under the Ministry of Health.

“MRC Miri is a charitable organisation – we’re able to operate well, thanks to the strong support from the caring Miri community and also from the corporate companies.

“We are very grateful that all have come together to help the unfortunate kidney patients. ‘Various NGOs have also helped us raise funds for our dialysis centre. This is how we are able to run successfully.”

Lee described the effort to set up a new dialysis centre as a good example of public-private cooperation. The Sarawak government, he said, had channelled RM3 million to fund the project, and this was supplemented further by donations from individuals and corporate companies.

“We hope such support and cooperation would continue once the new centre in Permyjaya opens next year.”

On the patients obtaining treatment at MRC Miri’s dialysis centre, Lee said 90 per cent of them were from the targeted low-income group and thus, they were eligible for various subsidies.

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