The dis­abled could do with more help

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - LIVING - AN­THONY THANASAYAN star2@thes­tar.com.my

help in cop­ing with daily ac­tiv­i­ties. I need a full-time care­giver by my side to give me a glass of water when­ever I am thirsty, and feed me my meals.

“I also need to be turned on my bed ev­ery four hours to pre­vent bed­sores. I have to be car­ried to my wheel­chair for my baths and back again. Wounds caused by sit­ting too long in my wheel­chair also need to be dressed daily.”

The op­er­a­tions, cost of med­i­ca­tion and ser­vices of a full-time care-giver have taken a heavy toll on Chong’s fi­nances.

Though free med­i­cal check­ups are avail­able for the dis­abled in govern­ment hos­pi­tals, many of the med­i­ca­tions are not avail­able, and have to be pur­chased from the phar­macy.

“Get­ting to the hos­pi­tal is an­other ob­sta­cle. I have to pay RM200 for a trip to Kuala Lumpur for fol­low-ups with my spe­cial­ist,” says Chong.

“Many govern­ment den­tal clin­ics are not lo­cated on the ground floor. This makes ac­cess dif­fi­cult. So I have no choice but to go to a pri­vate den­tal clinic and pay a bomb for their ser­vices.

“The Govern­ment should iden­tify those who re­ally need help and en­sure they are pro­vided with all the medicine they need,” Chong points out. “Hos­pi­tals should ar­range for home vis­its by ded­i­cated nurses.”

Chong says he is grate­ful to his mum for look­ing af­ter him when he be­came dis­abled.

“My mum is 80 and can no longer take care of me. I had to raise RM6,000 to pay for an In­done­sian maid as a care­giver. Un­for­tu­nately she ran away af­ter two months and I was told to pay an­other RM6,000 for a re­place­ment maid.

“It took me months to raise the money and it was gone in just two months. We are at the los­ing end. How are we to man­age in such a sit­u­a­tion? Why can’t our Govern­ment help us in this area? Even politi­cians have

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