State Ministry is told to play its role
Published on: Thursday, July 11, 2019
By: Leonard Alaza

INANAM: Inanam State Assemblyman Kenny Chua has again appealed to the State Health and People’s Wellbeing Ministry to look into poor maintenance of government health clinics in the state, saying it cannot leave the problem to be dealt by elected representatives all the time.

He said it has been more than a year since the Ministry was established but the issue of poor maintenance of government health clinics, particularly in his constituency, keeps pressing for his attention, and at times seeking his financial assistance.

“I have to appeal to the Ministry to address the issue. After all, it falls under its jurisdiction and responsibility.

“I fully understand that as elected representatives, we also have a duty to help in any way we can. But how much can we do? We’re dealing with an expensive problem,” he said after inspecting the condition of the Manggatal health clinic, Tuesday.

Chua, who is also state Assistant Finance Minister, said he was appalled to see the condition of the health clinic which he was told to have not been maintained well since over a year ago.

“The condition is pathetic. I was told by the medical officers that the new maintenance contractor has been appointed only early this month. I don’t know what caused such a long delay. All I know that the patients and medical staff have suffered as a result,” he said.

He lamented that because there had been no maintenance contractor for a long time, medical and clinic staff had to do some of the jobs including toilet cleaning.

He said he had previously spent his assemblyman’s fund including from his own pocket to finance some repair works such as the air-conditioning system so that patients and medical staff at the clinic would feel comfortable.

“Things like that can’t wait. I had to fork out my funds and even money from my own pocket to solve some of the problems because we all know that people who come to clinics or hospitals are unwell. 

“The least we can do for them while waiting for treatment is to provide a place they can feel comfortable. Likewise to the medical staff who work tirelessly to attend to hundreds of patients every day. The Ministry should be worrying about this,” he said.

Chua said he had also been informed by medical staff in health clinics in his constituency that patients who need to go for X-Ray scanning have to go to Luyang health clinic.

“It makes no sense there’s not even one X-Ray machine in any of the health clinics here. As far as I’m concerned, it’s totally unacceptable to ask patients from here to travel all the way to Luyang for scanning. We are talking about an important health facility. So, there should be no question that some of our clinics don’t have it” he asked.

This is not the first time Chua has highlighted the issue. Previously, he had visited Telipok health clinic and expressed shock over its condition, also due to poor maintenance and lacked repairs.

It was the same story at the time with regard to the maintenance contractor who service Chua was told had been terminated but no replacement was made immediately.

“It’s not my intention to run down the Ministry. But as someone elected by the people to be their voice, it’s my duty to speak up about the state of affairs of our health facilities and services.

“After all, health is a basic human right. So, it’s our top priority more than anything else,” added Chua.

Newly named Sabah Health and People’s Wellbeing Minister Datuk Frankie Poon had said last month that the federal government should act on problems at health facilities in Sabah.

His predecessor, the late Datuk Stephen Wong, had earlier said last year that the newly established Ministry would work closely with the Federal Health Ministry to improve healthcare services in Sabah, including devolution and decentralisation of power by the federal government.

He had also said there was need to increase the federal budget to be spent on health infrastructure development in the state.



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