General Line


Emergency Line




Close this search box.

Assunta Wins Award for Charitable Works

Assunta Hospital is the proud recipient of the Hospital of the Year – Community at Heart Award by CSR Malaysia and World Sustainability Community in conjunction with Sustainability and CSR Malaysia Awards 2023.

Assunta Hospital is the proud recipient of the Hospital of the Year – Community at Heart Award by CSR Malaysia and World Sustainability Community in conjunction with Sustainability and CSR Malaysia Awards 2023.

The award is in honour of the extensive work its charity wing ASSISS (Assunta Integrated Social Services) has been carrying out for years. As a not-for-profit entity, the hospital incorporates the social entrepreneurship concept as its business model. Up to half of its earnings are directed towards reinvestment, fuelling the hospital’s continued growth, acquiring advanced equipment and technology, revitalising its infrastructure, and meeting operational expenses. The remaining 50 per cent of its surplus is allocated to its social welfare fund, enabling ASSISS to deliver cost-free healthcare to the less fortunate.

This has been the practice since its inception in 1954, when four Franciscan Missionaries of Mary (FMM) nuns started a small clinic called Ave Maria in Petaling Jaya to serve the healthcare needs of the underprivileged. It is believed the nuns used to cycle out to care for those unable to come to the clinic.

When the hospital officially opened in 1961, free clinics were set up once a week in villages and squatter areas around Klang Valley like Puchong and Sg Way, as part of its community service.

ASSISS’s head of medical services, Dr Darshinia Ballasingam said the charity arm, established in the 1990s, now provides eight types of specific free healthcare services including mobile clinics, palliative services, wound care services, geriatric enrichment services, and social welfare programmes.

Dr Darshinia, a graduate of the Crimea State Medical University, Ukraine, joined Assunta’s palliative care unit in May 2018 after serving at various government and private hospitals, conglomerates, and chain clinics for seven years.

“I was constantly questioning my purpose, and if I was serving it. Joining the palliative care unit at ASSISS was an eye-opener for me — the reality is that this is where we will all be one day. I then understood ASSISS, its services and, with the guidance of Sr Elizabeth Tan, FMM, the current Provincial Superior of FMM Malaysia/Singapore, who sits on the Assunta Foundation Board of Directors, I was given the opportunity to lead the initiative.

“I feel valued and valuable for what I do at ASSISS. In comparison to the size of the hospital, the amount of charitable works we do is astounding,” she said.

“I visit patients and mobile clinics almost six days a week, and it is very gratifying. At the height of the pandemic, I was pregnant with my daughter, yet once we obtained permission from the Ministry of Health, my dedicated team and I were out there serving those in the peripherals.

“ASSISS’ humble beginnings were more focused on aiding those who sought our assistance and active promotion was not our priority. Our Mobile clinics were then operating in 12 to 24 locations, at times 26 locations monthly. The pandemic made us understand the needs within the community and a priority shift was soon observed. ASSISS began promoting its services to the open public, in hopes to be more accessible to all. ASSISS is now in the available in the Klang Valley, Sabah, and Sarawak and has recently expanded to Negeri Sembilan. Its Mobile Clinics cover 48 locations in Klang Valley and six in East Malaysia.”

“The demand is substantial, with numerous individuals unaware of our services or unable to access them directly. Nevertheless, our resources empower us to extend our reach, and this has been our ongoing endeavour said the enthusiastic doctor.

“We work closely with the state’s Department of Social Welfare/Jabatan Kebajikan Masyarakat (JKM), the Kuala Lumpur City Hall/Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur, and the Petaling Jaya City Council/Majlis Bandaraya Petaling Jaya as they provide us with their detailed database of the communities and individuals that fall within the B40 or below category. This makes ASSISS work much easier to reach out to the right people in need.

“We are currently working on our portfolio to present to the national Department of Social Welfare, so we can expand the programmes to other states,” said the 37-year-old doctor.

Before the onset of COVID-19, eligibility was determined by a combined family income of under RM1,500 per month. However, due to the impact of the pandemic, families with a combined income within the range of RM2,500 per month are now eligible to apply.

Between 2017 and 2022, some 38,954 individuals benefitted from the diverse range of ASSISS initiatives. ASSISS affirms its commitment to ensuring that every recipient receives an equivalent standard of care and medication as its paying clientele.

Source: Herald Malaysia –