THEY WILL ASK thee as to what they should spend on others. Say: "Whatever of your wealth you spend shall [first] be for your parents, and for the near of kin, and the orphans, and the needy, and the wayfarer; and whatever good you do, verily, God has full knowledge thereof." - Al-Baqarah (2:215)

Sunday, 20 April 2008

When the poor needs medical attention...

When SN asked me to help out a guy who missed his last appointment because his mother could not afford to bring him to the hospital, I was given his file so I could jot down the necessary details. But since I would be liaising with this guy’s mother, I asked SN for the mother’s name.

“Entah, saya pun tak tau nama dia. Bila kita call, dia bahasakan diri dia Opah.” That was SN’s answer to me.

Hmmm… I don’t think I should be calling this lady Opah since I am older than her son, Hamid.

According to SN, Hamid is very weak due to lots of complications resulting from his HIV, while his mother, who is already very elderly, and has to accompany Hamid, has problems walking… the normal knee pain, back pain and stuff like that. Imagine an elderly lady who herself needs support, having to accompany her sickly son to the hospital.

SN has fixed Hamid’s next appointment at the end of this month. I thought I’d better arrange for something soon so that he won’t have to miss another appointment. So I decided to call last Thursday. Hamid’s mother answered the call. I kept calling her makcik while she kept calling herself Opah. Oh well…

Now the problem is, since they are staying outside Ipoh, coming to the Ipoh GH for Hamid’s appointment is definitely not easy. Taking the bus will definitely be cheaper, but given Hamid’s and his mother’s physical condition, getting on and off the bus will be tough. And since they’re staying in a kampong, they’d have to walk quite a distance from their house to the bus-stop.

So they have to take a teksi sapu every time they need to come to Ipoh for Hamid’s hospital appointment. That would cost about RM100 each time. And since Hamid’s mother did not have enough money for the last appointment which was supposed to be 2 weeks ago, they had no choice but to give it a miss.

I managed to coax Hamid’s mom to bring Hamid to Ipoh for his next appointment at the end of this month. For the moment I managed to get some funds for that one trip. Hopefully when they do come down for the next appointment, I will be able to meet them and try to arrange for some fixed monthly financial assistance from the relevant bodies.

Anyway, I took down makcik’s full name and had to wait a while for her to give me her bank account details. The money needs to be banked into her account before the end of the month so she can use it for their trip to Ipoh.

The only problem now is that her savings account is with a bank which only has ONE branch in Ipoh… situated in a busy business area where getting a parking space can be difficult… does not have inter-bank banking facility to enable me to transfer the amount online… and does not have a cash deposit machine to enable me to bank in the money outside banking hours. Aiseh… leceh…

But I will have to make it a point to bank in the money before the date of Hamid’s appointment. Hamid needs medical attention. Even though they don’t have to pay anything to the hospital, they still can’t afford it because they’d still need money for transportation.

I hope to meet them when they come. Kak Som’s appointment is also on the same day, and I do hope to meet up with her as well.

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