KOTA KINABALU: After the 1Malaysia mobile clinic to provide healthcare in areas that need it, the Government now wants to introduce a nationwide network of 1Malaysia cataract eye clinics.
Deputy Health Minister Datuk Rosnah Abdul Rashid Shirlin said these clinics are necessary as cataract has become the main cause of blindness in the country.
The mobile cataract eye clinics will be equipped with modern equipment to screen for cataract, refractive problems, glaucoma and retinal diseases, she said when opening the national-level World Vision Day event here Sunday.
After the screening, the operations would be done at the district hospitals, she added.
“This is for the convenience of rural folks who cannot go to general hospitals that might be too far from their homes,” she said, adding the mobile clinics will also sell spectacles at a lower price for rural patients.
Rosnah said under the cataract eye clinic programme, which is expected to roll off from next year, there will be a bus each in Sabah and Sarawak and six zones designated in the peninsula north (Perlis, Kedah, Penang and Perak), central (Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Negri Sembilan), south (Malacca and Johor) and east (Pahang, Terengganu and Kelantan).
Rosnah said apart from the mobile clinic programme, the Health Ministry plans to also have cataract clinics in all district hospitals.
“We have a high number of cataract patients and we want to reduce the waiting time,” she said, explaining that it currently takes about six months to a year for these patients to receive treatment.
The ministry is targeting to reduce the waiting time to about four months, she said.