6th February 2018
HOSPITAL FOR ARMED FORCES VETERANS TO BE BUILT IN IPOH, PERAK AT A COST OF RM 500 MILLION MAY NOT BE VIABLE
The New Straits Times dated 3 February reported that the government will build an armed forces veteran hospital estimated to cost RM500 million on a 28,500 square meter land belonging to the Malaysian Armed Forces at Gua Permai Camp, Tambun, Ipoh, Perak. No time frame for the completion of the hospital was reported, and should this project materialized, it will be the first ever dedicated veteran hospital to be built, the Defence Minister Hishamuddin Hussein mentioned during his visit to the proposed site.
While veterans generally welcome the construction of the hospital, we at the National Patriot Association (Patriot) however wish to question the viability of the proposal, and to offer a proposition that we think could better serve the veterans; minimizing unnecessary administrative problems to them.
Veterans are all over the country, and especially those of the lower ranks will be disadvantaged to travel the distance for a medical treatment because of age, and for some being physically disabled. It would be rather foolish for a veteran who had settled down in Johore, for instance, to travel to Ipoh for a medical treatment. Likewise, it would be even worse or absurd for veterans from Sabah and Sarawak to travel to Ipoh for a medical treatment.
Rather than building the hospital in Ipoh, it would serve veterans better if the defence ministry build a dedicated veteran medical unit alongside existing government hospitals that are found in all states. There are several advantages to this proposal. First, veterans do not have to travel long distances to visit the hospital since government hospitals are available in every state. Second, scarce medical resources could be shared between the government hospital and the veteran medical unit. Third, government hospitals generally have better medical facilities and the staffs are more experience in the handling patients.
The Malaysian Armed Forces have hospitals at Camp Terendak, Malacca, RMN Base Lumut, Perak, and Hospital Tengku Mizan in Kuala Lumpur. Similarly veteran medical units could also be built alongside these hospitals, giving a much wider spread of dedicated veteran medical units all over the country that veteran could go to, rather than just the one veteran hospital at Ipoh, Perak.
Patriot feels strongly that such medical services should also be extended to retired police personnel. They too served alongside the Malaysian Armed Forces in defending the nation. They deserved to be treated well and ought to be given equal treatment as that of their brethrens of the armed forces.
Reference article from:
BG Dato Mohamed Arshad Raji (Rtd)
President, Persatuan Patriot Kebangsaan