KUALA LUMPUR: The government has called for private-public partnerships to provide medical assistance to the urban poor and undocumented who cannot afford treatment.
Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh said many among the urban poor are unaware of health complications and hesitate to go to the doctor.
She also said government agencies are not able to provide medical assistance to the undocumented living in scattered villages in Kuala Lumpur, including her Segambut constituency.
Private-public partnerships are therefore important to reach such groups who are often in the dark about health issues, she said.
“For the Social Welfare Department (JKM), the criteria for monthly allowances is you must be a Malaysian. We can’t use taxpayers’ money for non-nationals.
“NGOs can go beyond the limitations of the government,” she said at a health screening and information camp held by her office in collaboration with the Rotary Club of Bukit Kiara Sunrise at a school in Taman Sri Sinar, Segambut, today.
Yeoh said it was the first time her Segambut constituency office was collaborating with the Rotary Club to hold a medical screening camp.
“There is also a counter for information. Usually, the B40 group is unaware of the benefits available, so we want to bring the facilities closer to the people,” she said.
The camp provides free health screening, dental check-up, pap smear, mammogram, blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure tests, and eye examination.
The services are carried out by medical professionals on a voluntary basis.
Held jointly by government agencies and private organisations such as Segi University and Pfizer Malaysia, the camp also provided free supplements and pharmaceutical services.
About 300 residents took part in today’s programme
Rotary Club president Anthony Pinto said they had been organising health screenings for the past 15 years.
“Many who visit us are surprised that free health screenings are so accessible.
“What we focus on is to provide health checks and not to treat diseases,” he said, adding that they want to empower the B40 group to start taking charge of their own health.
Marwiah Mohammad, 60, a resident of Kampung Segambut Bahagia, told FMT that such medical screening events were important to detect any sickness.
“It’s good for those who can’t afford expensive treatment like myself. I believe in checking for symptoms before the disease occurs.
“The initiative should be expanded and continued,” she said.