KUALA LUMPUR: Almost 61,000 underprivileged people, including non-citizens in Malaysia, will receive free basic medical and healthcare services annually over the next two years, with the establishment of 16 Klinik Amal Percuma nationwide by 2025.

For a start, two clinics – one in Ipoh, Perak and the other in Jalan Ipoh, Kuala Lumpur, began operations this month as a partnership between the Malaysian Red Crescent Society (MRCS) and Maaedicare Charitable Foundation (Maaedicare). They will provide services for primary care and chronic disease management, as well as health education and counselling.

However, the clinics will operate for only four hours daily from 9am to 1pm, except on Sundays. No appointment is necessary, and patients will be seen on a first-come, first-served basis.

The clinics also provide services to treat both acute and chronic diseases, minor surgeries such as fluid removal and nail avulsion, vaccines, nebulisers, emergency treatment, blood screening, urine examination, advice on nutritional intake and Electrocardiography inspection.

MRCS national chairman Tan Sri Tunku Puteri Intan Safinaz Sultan Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah said the mutual collaboration is focused on making a positive impact in the community and help improve the health and well-being of those in need.

“We don’t discriminate whether you are Malaysians or foreigners. All underprivileged or underserved people are eligible to receive services from Klinik Amal Percuma. We are going to set up 14 more clinics in areas which are mainly populated by the urban poor and B40 communities.

“This partnership is a powerful way to make a positive impact and achieve common goals.

“Healthcare providers, organisations and community leaders can pool their resources and expertise to reach more urban poor and underprivileged people, and provide more comprehensive care,” she said during the inaugural launch of Klinik Amal Percuma at Wisma MAA Medicare yesterday.

Maaedicare Charitable Foundation chairman Datuk Tunku Yaacob Khyra said healthcare affordability is a significant concern in Malaysia.

“The cost of medical treatment can be prohibitive for many whose families struggle to afford it. Everyone in our country should have access to the medical care they need, regardless of their income level,’’ he said.

“Access to and affordability of healthcare services are important. We are committed to ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to live a healthy life.

“We believe Klinik Amal Percuma will make a real difference in the lives of many. We are grateful for the support of our community partner MRCS, donors and volunteers, who have made this project possible, and we look forward to serving the community for many years to come,’’ he added.

Yaacob Khyra said each clinic would receive some 3,800 patients annually.

“The operations cost will be about RM12,000 per clinic, depending on the location. Rent for the premises costs about RM3,000 monthly, and the doctors, who are committed to providing high quality care to patients, will be employed on a locum basis. We are targeting to raise funds from the public to lower the cost of the operations,” he said.

Also present at the launch was Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change Minister Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad.

The clinics significantly contribute towards reducing waiting time and congestion at government hospitals while also helping patients to be treated promptly, bridging the gap on health disparities in the country, and playing an important role in promoting preventative healthcare and reducing the burden of chronic diseases.

For more information about Klinik Amal Percuma, please visit https://www.maaedicare.org/klinik-amal-percuma or call the Maaedicare Charitable Foundation at 03-4044 4468.