KUCHING: The Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Ministry has come up with a proposal for a health assistance scheme for kidney patients from the low-income group to be presented to the state Cabinet.

This was revealed by its minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah at the closing of a workshop on a proposal to give assistance via the Health Assistance Scheme to kidney patients from the low income group at a hotel here, yesterday.

Fatimah said the workshop was held to discuss the scenarios of kidney patients in both contexts of Malaysia and Sarawak in terms of the number of cases, gender, age group, factors and necessary solutions.

“From there, we have to identify how many patients need to undergo haemodialysis, the number of facilities or machines available as well as their maintenance and the machines that need to be replaced,” she told a press conference after the event.

She also said that because of the ever-increasing number of kidney patients, the state government was very concerned with patients from low-income families who have to opt for the expensive treatments.

“We took note that apart from the treatment cost, these kidney patients may also come from the rural areas. Thus, we have to consider their transportation cost,” she said.

When asked about how soon the proposal be presented to the state Cabinet, Fatimah shot back “as soon as possible” because she noted that the scheme would also be included in the next State Budget (2020).

The workshop attracted 28 people. Also present were the ministry’s permanent secretary Dr Saadiah Abdul Samat, Local Government and Housing Ministry’s head of Public Health Section Dr Cheong Yaw Liang and Health Department consultant nephrologist Dr Laura Ngu Lui Sian.