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KUCHING, Feb 5: Cancer patients from the B40 and M40 groups who are undergoing medical treatment can apply for assistance through their nearest Social Welfare Department (JKM) throughout the State, said Minister of Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah.
According to Fatimah, a total of RM5 million has been approved by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg for the general medical cost for Sarawakians.
She said this is not only for cancer patients, but also for those accompanying them, especially children.
“For those who need assistance in this matter, they can apply through JKM and it will be evaluated by the panel to see how much assistance can be given,” said Fatimah after officiating the lighting up of the Sarawak State Legislative Assembly (DUN) building to commemorate World Cancer Day 2022, held at Kuching Waterfront, yesterday.
Meanwhile, Fatimah said four issues related to cancer that still need to be addressed in Sarawak were awareness, stigma, late presentation and the medical costs involved.
She noted that the involvement from non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and medical fraternities has helped not only to create more awareness, but also with caring for cancer patients.
Apart from that, Fatimah said the late presentation issue is also worrying because without knowledge of the initial signs of cancer, or early detection, it would make it difficult to recover from the disease once it reach later stages.
“This is part of what the NGOs are doing, which is not only to create awareness, but also share the knowledge about cancer signs to enable them to get an early diagnosis,” she added.
“In terms of medical costs, the the NGOs are also very good in this area because they make it as their responsibility to provide support for cancer patients which is important.
“It includes transportation and accommodation cost, because for certain cases, there are also ‘defaulters’ where the patient did not complete their treatment because they could not afford it, and this matter has been brought to the Cabinet Meeting,” she said.
During the programme, Society for Cancer Advocacy and Awareness (SCAN) also launched the Iban translation of its Cancer Guide book titled ‘Nuan Bisi Riman? Nama Patut Dikereja Nuan: Malin Orang Sakit’. — DayakDaily