Grant OKU card to end-stage kidney patients, patient urges govt

A disabled card could enable end-stage renal patients better access to public facilities. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: An end-stage renal patient has urged the government to consider giving disabled (OKU) cards to people like him.

Mohammad Fazlie, 33, who was diagnosed with Stage 5 chronic kidney failure in July 2014, said he had not been able to get a proper job due to his condition.

“Discrimination in the job market is high as no company wants to hire a person who might be ‘less productive’ to the company as each haemodialysis treatment session requires about four hours and has to be done three times weekly,” he said.

The cost of a haemodialysis session at a charitable dialysis centre can be as low as RM10 while it could cost a minimum of RM200 at other places.

“Coming from a family with low income, I have no option but to manage the costs myself.

“I am Grab driver and pay about RM200 monthly, including for medicines,” he added.

Mohammad Fazlie.

Mohammad said with an OKU card, he could reap benefits such as a monthly allowance, apply for scholarships, tax rebates and free treatment at public hospitals.

Registered OKU members also have special and cheaper access to public facilities, public transport and jobs.

According to a Welfare Department (JKM) officer, only bed-ridden patients, suffering from cancer or kidney failure, could be eligible for an OKU card.

In a recent report, the health ministry stated that the number of Malaysians with kidney problems nationwide is expected to increase to 106,000 in 20 years.

The National Kidney Foundation Malaysia says currently there are about 50,000 patients with kidney problems nationwide, with 7,000 new patients seeking dialysis treatment yearly.