KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 28 — The Congress of Union of Employees in the Public and Civil Services (Cuepacs) has urged the government to retain the privileges received by civil servants and pensioners, especially with regard to receiving treatment at the National Heart Institute (IJN).

Cuepacs president Datuk Adnan Mat also expressed concern with the current situation, especially involving heart patients among civil servants and retirees being discharged from IJN.

“Although the Ministry of Health (MoH) has provided feedback that the cases involved patients who are already stable, Cuepacs believes it is more appropriate for the government to continue allowing existing patients at IJN to receive the best treatment there without needing to transfer them to other hospitals owned by MoH or referring them back.”

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“MoH itself has stated that they have referred complex cases and critical heart patients to IJN to reduce ‘congestion and long waiting times’ at MoH’s heart centres,” he said in a statement today.

Recently, a portal reported, among other things, that IJN had referred its patients among civil servants and retirees, to MoH hospitals as part of the government’s efforts to reduce costs.

A letter by an unnamed government pensioner published by the portal claimed, among other things, that he was discharged after receiving intensive care at the IJN.

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Adnan said the discharging existing patients from IJN would only cause congestion and long waiting times at MoH’s heart centres, which also had their existing patients to handle.

“Such a step also causes patients discharged from IJN to wait longer for treatment since their records at other hospitals are still new and need to make room for existing patients.”

“If this continues to happen, Cuepacs is concerned that the welfare of civil servants and retirees will be overlooked, especially in receiving the best treatment when they are unwell,” he said.

Adnan suggested that the government should consider alternative mechanisms or approaches if cost-cutting measures were the main cause of concern.

“Cost-saving measures should not be the basis for cutting healthcare expenditure as it is a government priority to safeguard the welfare of civil servants and retirees.”

“Cost-cutting measures should target other ad hoc programmes that are not a priority at all levels of government, rather than involving matters related to the people’s basic needs,” he said. — Bernama