Unacceptable setbacks: Anaesthetics shortage, telephone cable theft disrupt operations at Kota Sentosa Health Clinic

Kong (left) having a discussion with staff members at Kota Sentosa Health Clinic during a visit recently.

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KUCHING, June 8: The occurrence of a shortage of medicinal supplies, specifically anaesthetics for dental procedures, and phone service disruption due to the theft of telephone cables at Kota Sentosa Health Clinic, are serious setbacks that have compromised the quality of healthcare services provided by the government clinic.

Michael Kong, special assistant to Democratic Action Party (DAP) chairman Chong Chieng Jen, emphasised that such shortages in vital healthcare facilities are “unacceptable” and that there must be urgency in addressing these issues promptly and effectively.

“The disruptions have forced patients to seek urgent tooth removal at private clinics or, even worse, endure the pain if they are unable to afford private treatment,” he said in a statement today.

Recognising the seriousness of the situation, Kong said he has personally visited the clinic to assess the situation and gather information.

He discovered that despite the disbursement of funds and payment having been made by Kuching Health Office, the problem lay with the supplier’s inability to deliver the ordered anaesthetic.

To address this urgent issue, Kong reached out to Bandar Kuching MP and advisor to the Minister of Health Dr Kelvin Yii who has pledged to take immediate action by investigating the matter and initiating discussions with the supplier to find a resolution.

“To mitigate the impact of the anaesthetic shortage, the dental clinic has proactively sourced 100 vials of anaesthetic from alternative sources. The medical staff at the clinic have been diligently collecting contact numbers from patients who were turned away, enabling them to reach out to patients once the supply of anaesthetic is replenished,” Kong added.

However, he pointed out that the clinic has encountered additional challenges with the recent theft of their telephone cables in late May 2023 that has left them without phone services, hampering effective communication with patients and making it difficult for the clinic to provide timely updates and information regarding treatment availability.

“Due to concerns about potential scams and privacy issues, staff members are unable to use personal mobile phones to reach out to patients individually.

“To address the telephone line issue, Chong has been briefed on the matter and will be liaising with Deputy Communications and Digital Minister Teo Nie Ching to expedite the repair of the telephone lines at the clinic,” he explained.

In the meantime, Kong said DAP Stampin will continue to closely monitor the situation and collaborate with the relevant authorities to find solutions. — DayakDaily