KUCHING: The Kuching Life Care Society is still awaiting approval from the State Planning Authority (SPA) on the long-proposed palliative care centre here.
Society founder Hung Sung Huo said although it had raised half of the ‘Kuching Hospice Life Care Centre’ project’s cost of RM6 million, works could not commence without the approval.
In August last year, he told The Borneo Post that the earth-breaking for the centre would be held soon.
However, a year has gone by and Hung’s committee has remained patient in observing the procedures necessary to make the facility happen.
Not only that, they have to endure as the initial design for the proposed centre needs to be amended given the land size approved by the Land and Survey Department.
“We initially expected a three-acre land, but then only 1.5 acres were given to us. Just when we thought that 1.5-acre land was final, the (Land and Survey Department) further reduced it to one acre,” he said when met at the 5th Kuching Life Care Society Charity Fair 2015 at Dewan Masyarakat off Jalan Padungan here yesterday.
With respect to the latest Land and Survey Department’s approval, Hung said the society had to come up with a new design – from the original two-storey building to a three-storey one.
The original plan also had a garden for patients but due to the reduction in land size, they had to make do with what was available.
Hung also pointed out that originally, the building would have 34 rooms – each with two beds – to accommodate up to 78 terminally-ill patients at any one time.
“After a change of design, the number of rooms will be reduced to 26. If we were to place two beds in each room, the centre would be capable of having only 52 patients at one time.”
The proposed two-storey building would also consist of a reception office, a general office, a meeting room, a care-taker room, living room, dining room, a common kitchen, multi-purpose room, a library room and two consultation and treatment rooms.
The cost, Hung said, remained unchanged even after the scrapping of the proposed garden.
“The cost will go up because of GST (Goods and Services Tax). With the six per cent, it means that we have to fork out an additional RM360,000.”
Asked on his optimism for the design to be approved by SPA, Hung said his side could only hope and be prepared to adapt should there be any more changes.
According to World Health Organisation (WHO), palliative care is an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing problems associated with life-threatening illnesses, through the prevention and relief of sufferings by means of early identification and impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other problems – be they physical, psycho-social or spiritual.
Palliative care is increasingly used with regard to diseases other than cancer such as chronic, progressive pulmonary disorders, renal disease, chronic heart failure, HIV/AIDS and progressive neurological conditions.
Donations, via cash or cheque, can be made to Kuching Life Care Society via its Public Bank account (3122 2088 25). Donors are advised to call 013-803 8999 to get receipts for tax deduction.