Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar yesterday called for innovative services to make facilities more accessible for persons with different abilities (OKU).
Speaking as the Deputy Chairman of Pantai Jerudong Specialist Centre’s (PJSC) Board of Directors and guest of honour at PJSC’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPWD) event, the minister said services should not discriminate against OKU.
“All services need to be open for everyone including OKU so that they too can use facilities provided fairly and equitably,” he said.
This year’s celebration was themed ‘Transformative Solutions for Inclusive Development: The Role of Innovation in Fuelling an Accessible and Equitable World’.
The minister said OKU have the same needs as everyone in obtaining any healthcare and services.
“Early detection is important to help the development of OKU. Therefore, through child health surveillance in Maternal and Child Health Centres nationwide, children’s development issues can be monitored.”
“Early detection can also pave the way for early intervention to reduce the impact of disabilities among children and increase their chances to be more independent in adulthood.
“Rehabilitation and recovery services help reduce the impact from health problems they experience. It also helps them to achieve and maintain optimal function,” Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham said.
The Ministry of Health with cooperation from the PJSC provides recovery and rehabilitation services for adult patients with cancer, stroke, spinal cord injury, brain injury, neurological disorder or trauma and others, he said.
“This allows patients to obtain rehabilitation services as well as any assistive devices either with simple or sophisticated technology so that they can work, go to school and continue life in society as usual,” the minister said.
Assistive technology for OKU is not only limited to enabling them to move, but also to facilitate other aspects in life including communication, recreation, sports and learning.
It is also important in ensuring employment opportunities. Practical guidelines and procedures are also needed to reduce inequality in work place as well as to promote diversity, he said.
The minister added, “Let’s work together to make the world more open and fair for all through innovation and transformative solutions that are inclusive.”