Medical visits a ‘test of patience’


Health matters: Malaysians want waiting times at medical institutions to be reduced alongside an improvement in facilities. — LOW BOON TAT/The Star

PETALING JAYA: After a fun night out with her friends, Aida Syafiqah Suhairi, 23, didn’t expect that she would end her day with an eight-hour wait at the emergency department of a public hospital due to an accident.

Although she only suffered a soft tissue injury, it took her the whole night to get her leg checked, take the medicine and a medical certificate.

The public healthcare system needs a reformation, and Malaysians believe that it should start by decreasing the waiting time and improving its facilities.

The 23-year-old contract worker also said poor facilities and the lack of nurses, especially in small district government clinics, also caused confusion among the elderly.

Based on her personal experience chauffeuring her grandmother to the clinic, she said the checkpoints for a health check-up are unsystematic and that she had to repeatedly deliver a blood test result to several rooms as she was confused.

“The checkpoints were also all over the place, there was no proper numbering.

“There were also no speakers or screens to display your queue number. They (staff) only shouted the turns.

“For older people who have hearing problems, such as my grandmother, it is a hassle,” she said.

Student Muhammad Iqmal Azim Shamsuri, 22, who frequents government hospitals about three to four times per month, said several technical concerns need to be resolved in public healthcare facilities, such as the issue of unavailability and the insufficient number of lifts for visiting patients.

“Almost every time I visit, many patients with different disabilities have to wait for the lift to reach their respective divisions.

“In addition, the lift is extremely cramped, and most of those who come for treatment are disabled individuals with assistive devices such as wheelchairs.

“As a result, other patients must wait for the next lift as the wheelchair occupies the space,” he said.

He added that he was generally satisfied with the service provided by the hospital’s staff.

Homemaker Fadeela Abdul, 42, hoped that the government will fix broken facilities such as toilets immediately.

She also urged the people to be more responsible, especially when using public facilities.

“I won’t blame the cleaners for dirty toilets as Malaysians have nasty toilet habits; they don’t consider other users,” she said.

Fadeela hoped that waiting time at clinics could be reduced as she had to wait at least three hours for her appointments, describing her visits as a “test of patience”, adding she once had to wait for over five hours for a follow-up treatment.

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