(From left) Dr Loh and Pujut assemblyman Dr Ting Tiong Choon being interviewed by RTM Miri TV News crew in this file photo.
MIRI: Palliative Care Association Miri (PCAM), a non-profit making organisation providing free palliative care service is in dire need of volunteer doctors for its Palliative Care Home Programme outside Miri City,
PCAM president Dr Loh Yunn Hua said currently the association in collaboration with Miri Hospital can only carry out the programme once a week.
“Our three full-time nurses and one doctor from the hospital can only do home visits for free palliative care on Fridays in areas within Miri District.
“As there is no volunteer doctor, the outstation visits to patients in Bekenu, Bakong, Batu Niah, Sibuti and Suai had to be temporarily stopped since February this year. Previously, we had doctors from the hospital,” said Dr Loh when contacted yesterday.
She said that it is important that a doctor accompanies nurses for home visits for consultation and management of medicine prescription while the nurses attend to nursing aspects.
“We hope that more doctors would volunteer and make it part of their community service to locals,” she said, adding that the programme helps improve home based care and support to relieve suffering of terminal patients including cancer patients who have been discharged from the hospital.
Presently, the association has 78 patients in the city and 18 on the outskirts who are not covered under the programme with 10 from Bekenu, Bakong, Batu Niah, Sibuti and Suai and eight in Lawas, Limbang, Marudi, Bario and Baram.
The programme started with 12 patients in 2005 and the services has reached and helped 1,174 patients as at December 2018.
PCAM currently has 30 volunteers, mainly senior citizens and retired officers.
Dr Loh urged more people to volunteer and assist in whatever way they can, like craft for sale to raise funds or organising charity works like the upcoming Run For Love in Oct 6.PCAM also sends nurses for further training and seminars as well as loan medical equipment, oxygen concentrator, hospital bed, ripple mattress, wheelchair and others to patients.
To volunteer and for more details, contact PCAM at 012-8456480 (whatsapp) or call 085-650538 or visit www.palliativecaremiri.org’.