Unregistered premises given till Dec 31 to sign up with JKM

Babyselvarani (right) with residents under her care showing their vaccination cards after receiving both doses at Naam Nursing Home in Pinhorn Road, George Town. — ZHAFARAN NASIB/The Star

UNREGISTERED nursing homes in Penang have been urged to register with the state Welfare Department (JKM) by Dec 31 this year for better management.

Penang welfare committee chairman Phee Boon Poh said the move is to help legalise the homes and for them to obtain exemptions on certain applicable fees like submission fees.

As of May this year, the number of unregistered nursing homes surpassed those that are registered.

A total of 103 are registered while 190 are not registered with JKM.

“The state government wants to fully assist them in legalising their homes and centres.

“But they have got to do their part to register in order for us to help them.

“Many government departments have come to compromise certain rules and whatever fees that can be exempted in the process will be exempted or reduced to the lowest possible rates.

“As such, we urge them to register before Dec 31 this year,” he said when contacted on Friday.

Phee said nursing homes need to register with JKM, whether there are individuals or professionals running them as an enterprise or industry.

“They cannot stay unregistered just because some are registered with the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM).

“If they are not registered with JKM by Jan 1 next year, then they would have to pay full submission fees and all the exempted clauses that we previously allowed will be enforced,” he said.

At the Naam Nursing Home in Pinhorn Road, George Town, its manager B. Babyselvarani, 67, said the home, which has been operating for 30 years, was registered with 33 residents and seven staff members.

“All our staff members and residents have been vaccinated by June 30.

“We received both doses through the mobile vaccination programme on June 9 and June 30.

“At the moment, we are facing minor setbacks with provisions and sometimes, when NGOs bring in new residents and do not follow up with the resident, we are left to manage by ourselves,” she said.

Babyselvarani, however, said as people send food and provisions from time to time, they were able to manage with an operating cost of RM20,000 a month.

“We are registered with JKM, which used to send officers to check on us before the Covid-19 pandemic.

“They will check on our residents, enrolment, the food we serve to our residents and the activities we arrange as well as our discipline in running the home.

“To us, these are good measures because when you are running a nursing home, it is always good for someone to keep the data and check what is going on,” she said.

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