By Geryl Ogilvy
KUCHING, May 23: The Sarawak government will carry out a study to improve healthcare services and help haemodialysis patients across the state to get better treatment.
Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah said her ministry has been tasked to carry out a survey on the number of patients needing treatment, socioeconomic status, treatment cost, as well as available facilities to meet demands.
“The state government is concern with the welfare of kidney (failure) patients, which is on the rise. At present, patients undergoing dialysis in Sarawak is quite a huge number at both public and private hospitals or dialysis centres. Furthermore, treatment at private facilities can be expensive.
“In this regards, we will study whether the facilities and services provided in both public and private health institutes are sufficient for all patients across the state. We will present our study papers to the state Cabinet,” she told reporters at the Baitulmakmur Complex here today.
Among the areas of study include the need to set up more dialysis centres and improve public facilities at district level to ease patients’ travel for treatment. This also to help the lower income groups, she added.
“We need to ease constraints faced by public hospitals, as well constraint of patients who seek treatment at private hospitals,” she continued.
On another note, Fatimah said the state Cabinet has approved the setting up of a one-stop centre for children with special needs in Kuching.
The one-stop centre, part of a corporate social responsibility project with Petronas, will provide diagnostic services to confirm whether a child has any disability.
“The diagnosis is to determine the type of disability, whether it is intellectual or mentally challenged, or whether the child has autism, Down Syndrome or other disabilities.
“This centre will provide early intervention to help rehabilitation of the special needs children,” Fatimah said.
She pointed out that in terms of diagnostic services, early intervention is crucial to improve the success rate of the child’s rehabilitation process.
“For a start, the centre will focus on rehabilitation for autistic children, which (autim) shows a high prevalence rate worldwide,” she added.
According to the World Health Organisation, 1-in-160 children worldwide has an autism spectrum disorder, with boys four times more likely to be diagnosed with autism than girls.
“We learned that many parents form Sarawak have sent their children to Kuala Lumpur, especially the renowned Permata Kurnia, and some overseas, for the child’s rehabilitation.
“This centre will help parents especially those from the low income group.”
She said the intervention has to be done before the disabled children enter primary school, focussing on preparing them for the next stage in coping with formal education.
Petronas has allocated RM4 million for the project (this year) and a site have been identified for the centre. The budget will also cover human resources, preparation, running and maintenance of the facility. — DayakDaily