KUALA LUMPUR, July 20 — Baram MP Anyi Ngau today highlighted the struggles of elderly chronic patients in his constituency in receiving medical treatment during the implementation of the Movement Control Order (MCO).
“They have returned to their villages, returned to their longhouses. Whenever they have appointments with the specialists to receive specialist treatments, they were forced to travel through unsafe routes for hours,” the GPS lawmaker said in the Dewan Rakyat while debating the King’s Speech.
“They are old people and we had restrictions to cross the border. In Baram, we have three towns: Marudi, Telang Usan and Beluru. We had to cross these areas which were under restriction,” the Sarawakian lawmaker added.
He blamed the lack of basic facilities in rural Sarawak for these problems.
Malaysia imposed a strict nationwide lockdown for seven weeks from March 18 to May 3 in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Strict movement restrictions were implemented in stages under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 and the Police Act 1967.
Earlier, the Galen Centre for Health and Social Policy, a health think tank, said that prolonged restrictions on movement may have negatively affected cancer patients due to delayed treatment that could worsen their condition and even result in death.
National Cancer Society Malaysia president Dr Saunthari Somasundara recently said cancer patients were looking at three to six months’ delay in treatment, as the major hospitals serving Covid-19 patients were also providing the majority of cancer treatments in the country.
Hypertension, diabetes, and respiratory diseases are some of the common chronic diseases in Malaysia.