Stranded During CMCO Without Sufficient Medicine Supply — Mohd Abdullah

By CodeBlue | 17 November 2020

They are using flimsy excuses of “ubat tak cukup”, going against the Covid-19 SOPs.

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I come from Ipoh and, together with my wife, occasionally visit our children in Kuala Lumpur. We came before the imposition of the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) and both of us have health issues.

Both of us are patients with our local Klinik Kesihatan, where we do medical check-ups and filling our prescriptions. I, being a pensioner from the public sector, am an organised person and usually have all my documents with me, but my wife does not.

Since we cannot go home and our prescription is due to be filled, I looked up the internet and found that as mine is pills, it will be no issue if the prescription is sent via PosLaju to me. I am, like most, a diabetic, and also have high blood pressure and high cholesterol. I can get my prescription fills via PosLaju, but my wife is on insulin; she must present herself only at a facility before her prescription can be be filled, as it cannot be shipped by mail.

This is when all these Covid-19 CMCO problems surfaced. Sadly, my experience by reaching out to do this simple exercise turned out rather disappointing, frustrated, and very angry, as compassion and help are nowhere to be found.

Instead, I am being kicked around with excuses of “UBAT TAK CUKUP”. SOP for Covid-19 is Stay safe, Stay At HOME, Go Out Less. These are contradictory, using flimsy excuses of ubat tak cukup that go against all the Covid-19 SOPs.

I am not asking for six months of refill, just two months to tide me over so I don’t need to go out again. Is this too much to ask?

First time, when I went to Hospital Shah Alam, I was only given one-week supply by the pharmacy. Even though I explained I am stuck here, they offered no help. I guess during extraordinary times, we have people without compassion. Instead of extraordinary people, we have frontliners who treat the public with disgust.

Furthermore, my next doctor’s appointment is in January 2021. Nowadays, medication prescription is given in stages, not in one go like during Barisan Nasional’s (BN) time. After Pakatan Harapan (PH) took over, it was rationed, but these are not normal times, so is it wise to continue to be normal?

Before the PH government took over, we used to get our prescriptions at a time that was enough to last until the next doctor visit, usually three months once. After the PH government took over, it has been rationed to one doctor visit per three months, but you collect your medicine once a month; no more one time take all. Imagine, makcik and pakcik, uncle and auntie, made to go to Klinik Kesihatan every month. It’s still going on now.

We wear masks and practice social distancing for a reason, yes? Making it difficult and forced to run around during these abnormal times — is this wise? I am not asking for six months’ supply; just give me what I need. My wife has to go back again to collect her last batch before her doctor’s appointment in January 2021. Is that necessary?

I went home and called my local Klinik Kesihatan. This time, they decided to help by registering me for the PosLaju delivery. The first time I called, I was casually told to walk into any Klinik Kesihatan or hospital and I was told they would be willing to help me, which did not turn out to be the case.

WHY? Maybe they forgot or do not care that there is a pandemic going on and that risking your life is not their problem. I got my refill after two weeks. Yes, PosLaju by bicycle from Ipoh to KL took two weeks. Good job.

Until my next doctor appointment, I had two refills spread out in one and a half months each time. My first delivery arrived two weeks ago and I did not expect a final refill until December, but to my surprise, my second refill also arrived a few days later, so now I have everything.

Now, my wife is a different case. She has no choice but to again go out and expose herself to ask for help from Hospital Shah Alam. I called ahead to Klinik Kesihatan Ipoh and told them that my wife needs her insulin. Can they please do the necessary and help make the arrangement so as she will get her refill at that hospital? Yes, the person on the phone said she did and so, I went.

Upon arriving, the reception counter said ‘sorry, don’t know’. The person we saw also didn’t know, as expected. I was very insistent and after tense negotiation, they relented and only refilled one-month supply. They don’t care — Covid or no Covid, you die, I don’t care. Come back next month and get your balance. We have short supply of medication.

You see, this is the situation we are all facing. I am sure there are lots of people who are in the same situation as me. I pity those who just take it and get kicked around like a ball.

Instead of helping them, they get the merry-go-round treatment and what is this — ubat tak cukup?

This is an extraordinary time. We do not want to go and disturb you. We just want some help to get us over this trying time. Is this too much to ask? I have written this same letter to YB Khalid Samad. I hope he asks some serious questions in Parliament:

HOW ARE YOU, THE GOVERNMENT AND AGENCIES, LOOKING AFTER VULNERABLE PEOPLE? DO YOU TREAT THEM LIKE A FOOTBALL AND HOPE THEY CATCH COVID?

Or will you be extraordinary and do the correct thing?

Looking forward, if this CMCO is going to be further extended again, I hope they let us go back to our hometown. I do not want to stay here anymore. At least at home, I follow the protocol and there’s no need to become a beggar and ask for help from heartless people. Being locked up for one and a half months is enough.

Sorry for being long-winded, but I am now full of anger and frustration. I expect no help, so now you see my full emotions. I only pity those who are facing this and get the merry-go-round treatment. I hope they do their job, not just say fancy slogans or send useless SMSes.

I guess it is easier to put up the slogans and signs than to show compassion and to reach out and offer help.

  • This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of CodeBlue.
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