Minister of Health Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar made an apology to patients who have experienced being told to come earlier after queue numbers have ran out for dental services at various health centres, adding that it is not the standard operating procedure to handle the matter.
At yesterday’s 19th Legislative Council Session (LegCo), LegCo member Yang Berhormat Hajah Safiah binti Sheikh Haji Abdul Salam highlighted an issue of overcrowding at health centres, which is causing difficulty to obtain services such as dentistry and phlebotomy (drawing blood).
“An example is the dental services at Jubilee Perak Sengkurong Health Centre, where walk-in patients have difficulty in obtaining queue numbers and have been asked repeatedly to come earlier the next day.
“Some have queued since 6.30am and numbers still run out, then they are advised to come even earlier,” she said, adding that others have experienced similar plights at other centres.
In his reply, the minister said that Jubilee Perak Sengkurong Health Centre is servicing many catchment areas, and while improvements have been made, in particular to dentistry, it is admittedly still not enough.
“This problem has been identified and standard operating procedures for frontliners to deal with the issue have been prepared,” said the minister.
“It does not include telling patients to come back again,” he added, apologising to patients who have experienced this problem.
The minister explained that patients will be asked whether or not their dental problem is critical or if it is only a routine check-up. From there, they will be given an appointment, instead of being told to come the next day.
“This shows there may be a weakness in terms of the standard operating procedure coordination from the frontliners and this will be fixed,” said the minister.