Monday, August 8, 2022

Cash continues to be accepted at Sarawak clinics, hospitals

Secara Rawak

KUCHING: Cash will continue to be accepted as a payment method at government clinics and hospitals in the state.

Deputy Premier Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian said the reassurance was given by Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin in view of public concern of the change towards cashless payments.

“Traditional cash will continue to be accepted at Sarawak Health Department clinics and hospitals in Sarawak.

“YB KJ has reassured this in view of the ongoing implementation of internet coverage (improvements) in rural areas in the state as well as elderlies unable to cope with digital gadgets,” said Dr Sim in a Facebook post today.

He said this when commenting on a circular issued by the Health Ministry on the transition to cashless payments at government hospitals and clinics nationwide.

At the same time, Dr Sim Sarawak supports the transition towards cashless payments as it is in line with the state’s digital transformation agenda.

“Sarawak will support this (cashless payment) initiative in line with Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg’s to leapfrog Sarawak through digital economy,” he said.

He also thanked the Health Ministry for their understanding of the limitations in the state and partnering with the state government to ensure that healthcare in Sarawak remains accessible and affordable.

Recently, Telang Usan assemblyman Dennis Ngau had cautioned the Health Ministry that rural folks are likely to find it challenging to adapt to cashless transactions.

He welcomes the ministry’s decision to gradually use cashless payments for services at all its facilities, but also called upon the government to be mindful of those who are still dependent on cash in performing transactions.

In the Health Ministry circular, secretary-general Datuk Harjeet Singh said payments using debit and credit cards as well as e-wallets will be accepted in all government health facilities.

He said among the reasons for doing so was to reduce leakages; increase efficiency; cut operational costs and reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmissions.

The Ministry expects 95 per cent of transactions in its hospitals and clinics to be cashless by the end of the year.

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