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Giving back half its profits to the poor

Assunta Hospital is increasing its allocation to help underprivileged people in need of medical treatment.

The private hospital, through its Assunta Integrated Social Services (ASSISS) charity programme, will now donate 50 per cent of its profits to the hardcore poor.

Its chairman and chief executive officer Peter TL Leong said the hospital previously allocated 30 per cent of the surplus for ASSISS.

Under ASSISS, there is the Social Welfare Outpatient Programme (SWOP), Social Welfare Inpatient Programme (SWIP),

ASSISS Palliative Services (APS), ASSISS Wound Care Services (AWCS), ASSISS Geriatric Enrichment Services (AGES), Pastoral Care Services and Mobile Clinics.

Leong said ASSISS’ vision was to deliver free and accessible medical and healthcare services for the poor regardless of race or religion.

Families with a monthly household income of RM2,000 or below can receive the benefits.

Those who seek palliative services must have a monthly household income of RM3,000 or below.

ASSISS chairman, Sr Elizabeth Tan FMM, said more than RM3mil was set aside for the six components. To avoid any abuse, she urged only those genuinely in need of medical attention to seek the services.

SWOP offers free outpatient procedures, medication and consultation.

“About 400 families comprising 1,600 individuals have registered for SWOP,” she said.

Each family will be given an identification SWOP card, which is valid for one to two years and allows them to have easier and immediate access to medical treatment at the hospital’s emergency department.

Meanwhile, SWIP offers free inpatient medical treatment and procedures such as total bilateral knee replacement, angiogram, angioplasty, gallbladder removal surgery and cataract surgery to deserving breadwinners and their spouses.

The hospital’s chief medical services officer, Dr Lourdes Dava Raj, said each patient would be assessed by a medical officer and referred to a specialist if required.

“For instance, if the sole breadwinner has to go for a bypass and need to wait for months at a government hospital, he will be qualified to receive the RM50,000 treatment at the hospital for free,” he said.

Short-term treatments, Dr Lourdes added, would be given to patients so that the income-earner could continue to work and support their respective families.

“We provide comprehensive and proactive care to terminally ill patients with cancer and nerve-related health issues under the Palliative Services,” said Tan.

Under this component, doctors and volunteers would visit patients at their homes to give them moral support, advice on pain relief and supply equipment according to their needs.

Wound care services cater to patients with chronic wounds such as diabetic ulcers, venous ulcers and pressure sores.

“We are willing to pay for their transport fees so they can seek proper medical care at the hospital,” said Leong.

He added that there were also plans under the AGES programme to organise events for senior citizens living in their homes in the Klang Valley.

Tan said they were committed to providing emotional support to patients who need surgery under the Pastoral Care Services.

The mobile clinics are open Monday to Saturday at 24 locations in the Klang Valley as well as three locations in Sabah from 8.30am to 1.00pm to give primary medical services to the poor.

“We are starting the mobile clinic in Kuching in September and in Penang and Johor Baru next year,” said Leong, adding that they would extend the mobile clinic services to another 24 locations by next year.

For details, call 03-79313366.–The Star

For more details on ASSISS: