KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 26 – Columbia Asia Hospital Bukit Rimau is setting an example with their latest efforts launched in conjunction with the opening of their first cancer centre.
In July, the hospital empowered their staff with the ClockOut2CheckUp campaign, offering a paid day off to any employee willing to attend a cancer screening provided by the hospital. A total of 275 employees rose to the occasion and answered the call to take part in this initiative.
Each of the employees were given a basic health screening and tumour marker test. The hospital is committed to their efforts to educate the public that the battle against cancer begins, not at diagnosis, but at prevention and early detection. The sooner cancer is detected, the higher the chances of recovery.
This campaign aims to start a wave that begins at the hospital but continues to ripple throughout the community and change the way Malaysians think about cancer.
“The ClockOut2CheckUp campaign is our way of giving back to our community of care. From our nursing teams to the administrative staff, we offered everyone the opportunity to take their health into their hands. We want to be a catalyst for change,” said Lee Hui Chuen, regional general manager, Columbia Asia Hospitals (Bukit Rimau, Petaling Jaya and Seremban).
“We see the research of how crucial regular cancer screenings are to early detection and we want to do our part to raise awareness and improve access to these procedures. With our new cancer centre, we will walk alongside our patients, providing them with the highest quality of care possible as well as the resources they need.”
“It’s common for patients to self-evaluate their health and find, because there is nothing evidently out of place, that they are perfectly healthy and exempted from needing to opt-in for regular health screenings. Unfortunately, there’s no way to know you have a clean bill of health unless you go for those screenings,” said Dr Kananathan Ratnavelu, consultant medical oncologist.
“A tumour marker screening done via a blood test is a simple, non-invasive first step that patients can take, that can offer a glimpse into their risks of developing cancer. It’s so important that the health care industry does more, to make the public comfortable, with the idea of routine screenings.”
On September 11, 2022, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin urged employers in both the private and public sectors to strongly consider giving their employees a paid day off for them to keep up to date on their routine health screenings.
He asserted that many employees don’t have the luxury of choosing to go for screenings during the weekend because of existing responsibilities. This should encourage employers to take up the responsibility to push for change.
Columbia Asia Hospital recognises its responsibility as both a health care provider and employer, choosing to spearhead the ClockOut2CheckUp initiative. The 275 Columbia Asia Hospital employees who stepped forward for screenings were rewarded not only with a bigger picture of understanding their health, but also a paid day off.
“I’ve been in the health care industry for over 12 years, but this is the first time I’ve chosen to go for a voluntary screening like this,” said Nuzul Fatihah Mohd Diah, personal care assistant at Columbia Asia Hospital Bukit Rimau. “It’s usually the fear of a bad result that has kept me from volunteering for a test like this, but I have been encouraged by seeing my colleagues step forward. I’ve always used the excuse that I didn’t have time, but I can’t say that anymore!”
The new cancer centre at Columbia Asia Hospital Bukit Rimau will officially launch on September 29, 2022, alongside other initiatives the public can look forward to.