SUBANG JAYA: One can’t help but notice the “cheer” right smack at the centre of the name Klinik Kecheerian. But the clinic’s catchy name is not the only interesting thing about it.
Apart from serving office employees and residents in the vicinity, Klinik Kecheerian provides subsidised healthcare services for the underserved in the community, particularly refugees. Sometimes, these services are even offered free of charge.
The clinic is an initiative under Autrui Global, a social enterprise that works with the underserved of all faiths and races. FMT spoke to its founders Dr Andrew Kok, 36, and Keith Tay, 42, to learn more about the clinic.
Although Klinik Kecheerian has been in operation since 2012, it wasn’t until December 2020 that Autrui Global took over. The duo shared that one of the aims of the clinic is to provide a comfortable space for refugees to receive medical treatment.
Kok, a medical doctor who graduated from Moscow, said, “Health is a fundamental right for everyone and despite refugees having access to healthcare, whether it’s affordable for them is another matter.”
He added that the number of refugees in the Subang Jaya area increased during the pandemic as many moved to the area in search of work.
When the clinic first started, only 20% of patients were refugees. Unsurprisingly the number has been growing monthly. “The news about the clinic primarily spread through word of mouth,” Tay explained.
Presently, 50% of their patients are refugees from around the area as well as Setapak and Klang. Although the refugees – from Pakistan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and Syria – are a mix of males and females, most are pregnant mothers.
“Initially, many of these pregnant mothers visited us after their third trimester because they could not afford antenatal care whether at government or private clinics. They were unaware that we provide free antenatal care services for refugees,” said Kok.
The team at Klinik Kecheerian then began educating these mothers on the importance of regular follow-up during their pregnancy.
“That made a huge difference as we try to prevent any complications from happening during the pregnancy, so the mother can subsequently deliver a healthy baby,” Kok explained.
The clinic currently has six full-time employees consisting of three medical doctors and three social workers. Additionally, an obstetrics and gynaecology specialist visits the clinic two Saturdays every month.
The clinic is also part of the “1,000 days project” – another initiative under Autrui Global where fresh vegetables are delivered to these pregnant women.
“The first 1,000 days of life – from the day of conception to the day that the child is about two years old – is a critical period of growth. We focus on these 1,000 days because we want to give them a head start in life,” Kok said.
Tay added that plans for the future include educating the mothers in the basics of financial management and how to start their own businesses.
So, how does the clinic sustain itself?
“We do not operate like a typical profit-driven model because a majority of the profit which is obtained from our paying customers does not go to the shareholders or directors. Rather, it is channelled back to help these refugees,” Kok explained.
“I feel that as Malaysians, we are just so blessed because we have so much that we can be thankful for. And because of this, we can do so much more for those who don’t have what we have.”
In the nick of time
Youlius Phenhas, 30, from Pakistan is one of the refugees visiting the clinic for treatment. The former employee of a hardware store was injured when a bottle of acid spilt on his leg, hand, and face in March.
When he realised how costly treatment at a hospital would be, he decided to let the burned skin heal by itself. However, he was unaware that the dead skin needed to be removed to prevent either infection or other complications that could result in him losing his leg, Kok said.
To make matters worse, Youlius has not worked since the accident. Thankfully, after having found out about the clinic through a church member, he came by one month later and has been receiving treatment at the clinic ever since.
“I cannot imagine what it would be like if I was left alone at home with all the pain. That is why I feel very happy and thankful when I come here because they help people like me who cannot afford services elsewhere,” he told FMT.
F1.32 and 33, Level 1
The Summit Mall
47600 Subang Jaya
Contact: 017-777 3949
Learn more about Klinik Kecheerian via its website.