Palliative care vital service as nation ages


KUCHING: Palliative care is a service that is needed as Malaysia, and particularly Sarawak, will have more elderly people in the coming future.

Minister for Women, Childhood and Community Wellbeing Development, Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah said Malaysia would be an ageing nation with many senior citizens by 2030.

In addition, she said Sarawak’s population, in particular, would age two years ahead of 2030.

“Are we ready to face a situation where the number of elderly people increases by more than 14 per cent?

“It is true that there are already assistance services provided by the government, but when it comes to caring for the sick or the terminally ill, it is not just an economic factor.

“Therefore, we want to create an ecosystem with assistance for the elderly, as well as those who are going through the last steps in their spectrum of life holistically.”

Fatimah said this at a press conference after her visit to the Two Tree Lodge Hospice here, on Friday (Aug 19).

She added that the ecosystem must include the necessary aspects, including economic and financial assistance, health services, housing provision and others.

“For physical support, of course we will need individuals who do have expertise in this field to ensure that the treatment provided is correct.

“Next, in terms of the patient’s emotional state, that is where we need help from their family members. This is the ecosystem we want to involve all aspects.”

She noted that having palliative care is an important aspect in life.

“We want to bring this service as part of the ecosystem that needs to be provided in preparing to face an ageing nation.

“Therefore, we hope that Two Tree Lodge Hospice can work with us in the future to help provide the necessary services.”

After witnessing two presentations during her visit, Fatimah also presented a grant to the Two Tree Lodge Hospice to continue their work in caring for the sick and elderly.

(From third left, seated) Dr Winnie Ling Hui Yee, Fatimah and Two Tree Lodge Hospice president Lily Ling Hui, with organisation members.

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