SEREMBAN, March 4 — A total of 14,426 kidney patients underwent dialysis treatments at government hospitals last year, Health Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa said.
From that total, 8,574 patients received hemodialysis treatment while 5,852 received peritoneal dialysis treatment, she added.
“Dialysis treatment is done after kidney patients are in the final stages of the disease and need to cleanse their kidneys. Some of the patients suffer from these kidney problems due to secondary causes, including diabetes and high blood pressure.
“So we advise these patients to be aware of the main disease they face so that it does not end in kidney failure,” she told reporters, after officiating the closing of the community service programme in conjunction with World Kidney Day in collaboration with Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia here, today.
World Kidney Day is celebrated on March 2 each year with the aim of increasing community awareness and understanding of the importance of taking care of kidneys.
“The concept is simple, we have to prevent it from the beginning and not get sick. We have to detect early, not only kidney but other diseases that can sometimes lead to kidney damage. This is the first step to being healthy,” Dr Zaliha said.
Given the level of public awareness about it is still low, the Health Ministry (MOH) is implementing various awareness programmes, including health checkups and kidney disease screening tests for Malaysians.
This is because it is time for the national health system to return to the concept of health care rather than sick care (patient care) in order to enjoy a better quality of life.
“The concept is simple, we have to prevent it from the beginning and not get sick. We have to detect early, not only kidney but other diseases that can sometimes lead to kidney damage. This is the first step to being healthy,” she said.
The ministry will launch the MADANI Medical Scheme, a special initiative for the less able to get health treatment at general and private clinics by June at the latest, adding that the technical committee is currently fine-tuning the scheme.
“So many MOH facilities, especially the emergency department, are experiencing congestion, 70 per cent are green zone cases, which are not critical, so we have to move them to get treatment at a nearby private clinic because the emergency section is for yellow and red zone cases,” Dr Zaliha said.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said the government allocated RM120 million for that purpose to help the B40 group get medical treatment when tabling the Budget 2023 recently.