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By Karen Bong
KUCHING, Jan 18: Denial, ignorance, cost and irrational fear of serious illnesses are among the reasons people avoid or refuse to do health screenings, but the consequences of late diagnosis and detection are even more heartbreaking.
Kuching South City Council (MBKS) mayor Datuk Wee Hong Seng warned that the mentality behind ‘rather not knowing about their illnesses and continuing to live in peace’ could lead to grave consequences to individuals and the people around them.
“Such denial mentality (could) further aggravate their medical situation. They would only seek for medical attention when their symptoms of illness become unbearable.
“Too late then, I would say. Members of the medical fraternities often lament, that their patients with serious illness could have been cured easily, had they sought for medical attention as soon as their symptoms manifested themselves,” he emphasised at the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) Health Carnival 2020 at a hotel here today.
Wee represented Minister of Local Government and Housing Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian to officiate at the opening of the carnival, which was being carried out simultaneously in 11 states of Malaysia today.
As such, he raised concerns that despite ongoing campaigns and programmes by various organisations to encourage health screenings, the participation rate among Kuchingites remained relatively low.
“Such reluctance could be attributed to unreasonable worries, cost, among other reasons that contributed towards the low participation rate on health screening programmes.
“It thus becomes our duty to help them, by way of debunking their fallacies, and offer them advice in overcoming their psychological barriers,” he said.
Wee warned that delays and procrastination in seeking treatment could cost significantly more, especially for those in the low income or B40 groups when additional medical cost could have been avoided if they were treated early.
Having said that, he pointed out that the public healthcare system in Malaysia was still affordable and accessible to all.
“Besides government hospitals, private clinics and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) like MMA Sarawak are also offering medical assistance to the needy,” he commended.
“More importantly, our state government has over the decades striven much to provide better health facilities for our people and ensured various forms of development that would promote and enhance the quality of life of our citizens,” he added.
Meanwhile, the carnival to stress the importance of health featured talks and activities to increase awareness among the public on care for the elderly, organ donations and universal health coverage.
The full-day programme from 8am to 5pm offers free health check-ups and screening, Zumba, blood donation drive, physiotherapy demonstrations, CPR demostrations, booth activities, lucky draw and fun activities for kids. —DayakDaily