Dr Sim: ‘Rural Clinic Visiting Doctors’ service a temporary measure

Medicine and healthcare. — DayakDaily.com file pic. // Photo: Pixabay

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KUCHING, July 18: The ‘Rural Clinic Visiting Doctors’ service is an approach adopted by the Ministry of Health to fill the “gap” before permanent doctors can be posted to 102 of the 167 rural clinics in Sarawak that do not have resident doctors.

Minister of Local Council and Housing Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian told the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) on Monday that under Phase 1 in 2017, visits to 85 rural clinics were planned under this initiative.

“The state government has allocated RM 2.1 million in 2018 to upgrade rural clinics through the partnership approach, Rural Clinic Visiting Doctors and Cluster Clinic System. Rural Health Service is under the Key Result Area 2 (KRA 2) of the State Rural Transformation Initiatives,” he said in his winding-up speech.

Dr Sim added that currently, 51 clinics are visited every month, nine clinics are visited once every two months, and three clinics are visited once every three months. The remaining 39 clinics will be included into this programme under Phase 2 this year.

As of last month, the Sarawak Health Department has received RM4 million of federal funds to upgrade and repair existing clinics. This involved mostly internal rewiring and utility connection as well as repair of damage caused by floods and due to dilapidated conditions.

“Apart from physical repair work, RM16.4 million has been approved this year under the Medical Equipment Enhancement Tenure (MEET) programme to equip health clinics and dental clinics with the necessary medical equipment throughout the state,” he said.

Meanwhile, Dr Sim revealed that six new fire and rescue services department (Bomba) stations were approved under the 11th Malaysia Plan for Batu Niah, Samalaju, Daro, Selangau, Sibu Jaya and Matu.

“Bomba Sarawak, through the ‘Khidmat Bakti Bomba’ programme, has provided assistance in the form of house repairing for the poor and rebuilding of houses that have been burnt down. The department is currently rebuilding four new houses and conducting eight house repair projects.”

He added that Bomba Sarawak would continue to implement public educational and awareness programmes on fire safety to the community.

Last year, the department carried out 2,142 public awareness programmes, 85 longhouse fire safety campaigns, 96 fire points, and set up 133 new Bomba Community teams with a total of 1,043 members.

“Till June this year, the department has carried out 1,190 public awareness programmes, 50 longhouse fire safety campaigns and has set up 40 new Bomba Community teams.

“Up to May this year, Bomba Sarawak received a total of 5,107 emergency calls, as compared to 2,976 calls recorded for the same period last year, which is an increase of 72 per cent.”

These 5,107 emergency calls comprised 704 calls on fire outbreaks, 2,406 rescue calls, 1,984 calls for special services and five were prank calls.

Dr Sim also revealed that the department managed to save RM234 million worth of properties during the same period.

“However, the estimated loss recorded due to fire was RM32 million, a decrease of 45 per cent as compared to the same period last year,” he added. — DayakDaily