KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 11 – Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) candidate Bawani KS has pledged to bring in a full-time doctor to Klinik Desa Air Kuning in Perak to treat elderly residents in the rural area, as the nearest hospital is located 15 km away.
In a 17-minute video on Facebook posted Wednesday, Bawani said there were 31,000 residents in Air Kuning, mostly seniors, who needed access to health care options. The nearest public health clinic is 10km away, in a different village, while the distance to Kampar Hospital is over 15km.
Tapah Hospital is located 18km from Klinik Desa Air Kuning.
“We have many elderly people in the Air Kuning area. It is difficult for them to go to a hospital or health clinic that is more than 15km away. If we can have a full-time doctor stationed at the Klinik Desa Air Kuning, it will make it easier to treat people who have fever, diarrhoea, and other common medical conditions,” said Bawani, who is PSM deputy secretary-general.
The 36-year-old lawyer is contesting for the Ayer Kuning state seat in Perak, the country’s oldest state, against Isham Shahruddin from Barisan Nasional (BN), Mohd Nazri Hashim (PH-Amanah), Muhammad Noor Farid (PN-PAS) and Maziah Salim (GTA-Pejuang). BN has held the seat since it was created in 1986.
A middle-aged woman featured in Bawani’s video said every government health care facility should have a specialist doctor.
“If we want to see a doctor, it will take time. We’re told to wait, to be patient, because there aren’t enough doctors. Only when there’s a case, the doctor will come and check, and maybe refer you to a hospital.
“The government should add more hospitals because there is simply not enough. There are a lot of people and everyone has to wait in long queues,” the woman said. She also complained about costly surgical procedures but did not elaborate.
Bawani’s pledge for a full-time doctor at Klinik Desa Air Kuning is one of five PSM pledges for the state constituency.
Other pledges include the construction of new roads from Jalan Kampar to Teluk Intan, restoring ATM and postal services in the area, solving electricity supply disruptions and upgrading telecommunications coverage, as well as demanding Perak Transit to take over public bus services in the Air Kuning area.
“The pledges in the local manifesto are consistent with the demands that come from local residents,” said Bawani. PSM’s election manifesto for the state of Perak will be launched soon.