Public dental clinics hampered by old, broken dental chairs; Dr Jerip appeals for urgent funds to address this critical problem
KUCHING: The state’s public dental health care has a ‘cavity’ that needs to be filled urgently – lack of dental chairs in government clinics.
This gaping hole needs a filling of at least 40 new chairs, and Assistant Minister of Public Health, Datuk Dr Jerip Susil, is sending a SOS for money to purchase them.
With each dentist chair costing between RM100,000 and RM150,000, the Health Ministry would need at least RM4 million to solve this ‘toothache’.
“We have to address this problem urgently. We are seeking emergency funds from the federal government, but if they do not have the money, then we have to turn to the state government,” Dr Jerip told The Borneo Post here yesterday.
He said most government dental clinics in the state were using broken dentist chairs that had not been changed for years.
“Most of our dentists and dental nurses have to improvise in order to carry out their duties. This is because the conditions of most of our dental chairs are in a pitiful state and have resulted in inconveniences to dentists and patients.”
On a related issue, Dr Jerip, who accompanied Minister of Local Government and Community Development Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh to visit the Sri Aman polyclinic on Tuesday, pointed out that most of the air-conditioners in that clinic were not functioning properly due to wear and tear, while the rest had broken down.
“Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh and I went there to symbolically hand over the 62 air-conditioner that had been installed in the last two weeks, and we had to source for money as it cost RM160,000.”
Dr Jerip added that a new extension block in the clinic was unfit for use as the building had cracked badly.
“For that, we have asked PWD (Public Works Department) to check and evaluate the extent of the damage and the repair cost.”