MIRI: Residents of Long Lama are unhappy with a newly opened clinic there because it is costly transportation-wise for them to seek treatment there.
Senator Lihan Jok said because of the clinic’s location on the other side of the Baram River, residents are forced to use the ferry should they require treatment.
“The ferry costs RM15 one way, and imagine if these people have to come back again using the ferry after getting their treatment. It’ll cost them RM30,” he said when contacted by The Borneo Post yesterday.
Jok said worse of all the ferry, which is operated by a private company, does not run round the clock.
As such, he said, those who need to cross the river for emergency treatment after hours would need to charter the ferry for RM150.
“This is clearly a burden on the people there who are mostly farmers and those working as labourers,” he said.
He added that most of the staff working at the new clinic live in Long Lama town and also need to use the ferry to get to work in the morning and return home in the evening.
Apart from the non-strategic location, Lihan said the new clinic also had water and electricity problems.
“However, we’ve talked to the Public Works Department (JKR) and they said they will help to resolve these issues within this week,” he said.
He urged the authorities concerned to re-open the old clinic located in Long Lama town, while maintaining the new one until all issues including the ferry fare are settled.
“We have also spoken to the ferry operator not to charge staff and also government vehicles. We hope we could achieve a decision that would benefit both parties,” he said.