Sunday April 8, 2012
1M’sia clinics: Premier moved by positive response over healthcare centres
> Reports by NELSON BENJAMIN, ISABELLE LAI, CHRISTINA TAN and RAHIMY RAHIM
BATU PAHAT: Moved by the positive response to the existing 75 1Malaysia clinics, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has pledged to set up more such affordable healthcare centres throughout the country.
The Prime Minister said he was glad that the elderly and low-income earners were benefiting greatly from the clinics.
He said he was particularly touched to read about a general worker who had been struggling to pay his daughter's medical expenses before a 1Malaysia clinic opened near his home.
“This is what I envisioned in my mind when we planned such clinics they must have impact and benefit the people in terms of convenience and savings,” he said on the first stop of his nationwide Jelajah Janji Ditepati (Promises Kept Tour) at the Batu Pahat stadium here yesterday.
Among the stories featured in The Star last Thursday was that of Mohd Salim Manap, 38, whose financial woes had been eased by lower medical costs for his asthmatic daughter.
Previously, he had to frantically rush his 13-month-old daughter to a private clinic each time she had an asthma attack.
Now, Mohd Salim takes her to a 1Malaysia clinic set up in his neighbourhood of Taman Merdeka in Malacca last year.
And instead of paying at least RM30 per visit to a private clinic incurring costs of more than RM200 each month he only has to pay RM1 per visit to the 1Malaysia clinic.
Najib first mooted the concept in his 2010 Budget as part of the Government's “People First, Performance Now” pledge to provide immediate healthcare to areas in need of basic health services.
The first 1Malaysia clinic opened in Lembah Pantai, Kuala Lumpur, in December 2009.
The strategically located clinics are open 12 hours daily from 10am, with qualified nurses and medical assistants providing treatment for just RM1.
In Kuala Lumpur, Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said the ministry was planning to build 50 more 1Malaysia clinics.
“We have managed to serve three million people in the 1Malaysia clinics so far.
“We received a lot of support because of our long service hours and convenient locations,” he said.
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Fast and efficient medical service for only RM1