Long before Covid-19 came along, we worked long hours, as we were understaffed and under-equipped, not only in Sabah, but everywhere, including resource-rich Selangor.
Hospitals were overcrowded everywhere. Patients waited days for ward beds in the emergency department corridors. Ventilated patients could not go to ICU. Reports were written. Audits were presented. Appeals were made. Nothing much changed.
Every year, requests were made for more allocations. Justification given. Implication spelled out clearly. Meetings held. Nothing much moved.
Ironically, the Covid-19 pandemic has become an opportunity to deliver. To answer years of prayers. To upgrade, buy much needed equipment, strengthen the system, re-organise the way we work, redistribute personnel, prioritise.
Every tragedy is an opportunity to improve. Of course, much more is needed. It is with much hope we wait for better allocations for improvement of health in our coming Budget 2021.
For better infrastructure. To ensure 2.5 beds per every 1,000 patients in our public hospitals. For more equitable access to medications and vaccines. For more grade A ambulances, for more allocation for health care needs, specially for the Orang Asli, and rural Sabah and Sarawak.
For enough allocation to create many more permanent post for doctors, nurses, support staff to run every rural clinic so that people would not have to travel more than 2.5km to be seen by a doctor. To not have to trek along logging roads, and travel by sampan to reach a hospital with specialist service.
May we have a Silver Lightning in these cloudy times. Goodness to flow from so much suffering. Health for All is achievable, if we reach out to each and every MP we voted for in 2018.
Urge them to debate, scrutinise and amend the Budget in the spirit of unity and good will. We implore our elected representatives to make the right decisions and vote with conscience, for the sake of moving forward for the good of this nation.
May the spirit of love, kindness, and justice prevail, and engulf our hearts and souls, that in this Parliament sitting, our MPs would vote for more equitable distribution of wealth.
Dr Cecilia Anthonysamy is an emergency physician at Serdang Hospital.
- This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of CodeBlue.