KUCHING: The public have responded positively to the 1Malaysia Clinic here, which offers affordable health services, particularly for the low income group.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak launched the new programme nationwide on Thursday.
Jeremy Yong, a patient at the 1Malaysia Clinic in Taman Lee Ling, Jalan Matang yesterday, said he was pleased to have an alternative for medical consultation and prescriptions.
“I learned about the 1Malaysia Clinic through the newspapers last week. Since it was launched yesterday (Thursday), I was thinking I should give the new clinic here a try, that is why I’m here,” he said.
The 65-year-old, however, said he initially had a hard time finding the clinic.
“The news report says it is located at Matang Jaya and there is no actual address. Whatever it is, I am grateful that there is an additional government clinic to go to,” he said.
Yong said he could not afford the medical fees of private clinics and at times had to put up with long queues at either the Sarawak General Hospital (SGH) or government clinics.
Recalling an experience at SGH, he said: “It was an emergency and I waited at SGH since 1am. Guess what time I was attended to. After an eight-hour wait — 9am.”
He lamented that such a long wait should not happen at a government hospital, especially with emergencies.
On what he would like to see improved in government clinics, he said the authorities should look into upgrading the services in terms of professional consultation.
“I can understand that no medical doctors could be stationed at government clinics due to a shortage problem. It surprises me when I encounter medical officers or attendants who do not know much.
“At the very minimum, these officers should be able to meet my needs when it comes to prescriptions,” he said.
After completing his medical consultation at the 1Malaysia Clinic, Yong said the medicine he received actually cost about RM30, but he only needed to pay RM1.
“I am grateful that I do not have to fork out more for the medicine. This is of great help to low income and poor families,” he said with a broad smile.
A spokesperson for the 1Malaysia Clinic here said the clinic began its trial run on Jan 5 to prepare for the official nationwide launch.
He said the state-level launch will take place in Sibu tomorrow, while the Jalan Matang clinic would officially open on Jan 17.
Open daily from 10am to 10pm, the 1Malaysia Clinic at Taman Lee Ling has an assistant medical officer, a nurse and a medical attendant.
Launched in line with 1Malaysia concept ‘People First, Performance Now’, the 1Malaysia Clinics aim to provide healthcare to urban residents who need treatment for minor illnesses.
Apart from offering easy access to healthcare, it is hoped that the new programme will make it more affordable and reduce waiting times for patients.
There are four 1Malaysia Clinics in the state — Kuching, Sibu (Perumahan Indah Teku), Miri (Perumahan Taman Tunku) and Bintulu (Perumahan Sungai Pelan).
Fifty such clinics will eventually operate throughout the country, with 44 operational as of yesterday.
Those needing treatment for minor illnesses in Kuching can go to the 1Malaysia Clinic at Ground Floor, Lot 9746, SL33, Jalan Matang, Taman Lee Ling Phase Two, 93050 Kuching.