By Peter Sibon
KUCHING, March 25: On April 13, 2011, former Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai made a working visit to the Siburan rural clinic. He promised and reaffirmed that a new, bigger and modern clinic for Siburan costing RM22 million would be built by 2016.
Nothing came out of it.
On April 2016, former Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam also announced that a new health clinic would be built in Siburan.
Nothing came out of it.
According to Temenggong Austin Dimin, former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had also made the same promise.
Nothing came out of it, too.
When contacted today, Puncak Borneo MP Willie Mongin assured that a new health clinic for Siburan would be built in the next two to three years at a cost of RM40 million.
“I have already gotten Siburan clinic approved for construction. The project is already being tendered and now waiting for construction. It is expected to be completed in two to three years’ time,” said Willie.
He disclosed that it would be a Type 3 Health Clinic. It is defined as a clinic with around 300 to 500 patients per day. To be managed by medical officers, the clinic provides general out-patient, maternal and child, dental and rehabilitation care. It would also have laboratory and radiological services.
Will it be for real this time around? Only time can tell.
Meanwhile, Austin told DayakDaily that the upgrading of Siburan health clinic was long overdue to meet the increasing needs of the people.
He lamented that proposed upgrading of this wooden clinic, which was built during the Confrontation period, had been announced numerous times, but nothing came out of it.
“To me, it doesn’t matter whether it was the previous BN (Barisan Nasional) or the current PH (Pakatan Harapan) federal government who is in power. The clinic needs to be upgraded due to the current needs, especially with the increase in population in Siburan sub-district,” he stressed.
“As former chairman of the Siburan Health Clinic Panel Advisor for three years, from 2016-2019, I know the needs of the local community. So, to me, it’s time that it should be upgraded,” he insisted.
The urgency for a new clinic for Siburan is critical due to its location. It is 22 miles or 35km from Serian Hospital and 18 miles or 25km from Sarawak General Hospital. Recently, a 66-year-old man died when the ambulance transporting him was rammed by another vehicle while refuelling at a petrol station in Siburan en-route to Serian Hospital. — DayakDaily