KUDAT, Oct 19 — The Flying Doctor service will be reintroduced in the state as it is found that there is a need for such a service for the residents in the rural areas.
Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal said many village residents in the rural areas were still found to be facing difficulties in seeking treatment at clinics or hospitals due to the distances involved.
“The flying doctor service will be revived because the residents in the rural areas still needs it.
“I want the health service to reach them. Sabah Air will implement the task through corporate social responsibility for rural health,” he said.
He was speaking at a press conference after witnessing the handing over of a Rural Day Hostel of Sekolah Kebangsaan Balambangan which was financed by Petronas to the Ministry of Education (MOE) at Balambangan Island near here today.
Petronas’ senior vice president Datuk Raiha Azni Abdul Rahman symbolically handed over the hostel to MOE School Management Division deputy director (students’ affairs) Faridah Yang Razali.
Also present was Petronas president-cum-chief executive officer Tan Sri Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin.
Mohd Shafie said the vast area of Sabah was one of the factors why health service did not reach the people staying in the rural area.
He was confident the flying doctor service could be implemented following the full takeover of Sabah Air. Prior to this 40 per cent of Sabah Air belonged to a private company.
He said the reintroduction of the flying doctor service would be studied in depth including involving the mapping of suitable areas for the service.
He said the Ministry of Health had also been informed about the reinstatement of the service.
The Flying Doctor’s service for isolated villages in the interior of Sabah was terminated by the Health Department in 2016 after 41 years. — Bernama