Funds needed for charity maternity hospital

Sisters’ faith in Negri hospital

newsdesk@thestar.com.my

SHAH ALAM: As she was being admitted to a private hospital in Kedah after showing signs of an early arrival for her fifth baby, Azleena Mat Zip told the doctor that she needed to go home for a while to get some things.

Instead, she told her husband to drive her from Kulim to NSCMH Medical Centre in Seremban.

She put up with labour pains throughout the five-hour drive and arrived at the hospital just in time to give birth – within five minutes on arrival.

This was in the year 2002. Why would she go through such an ordeal and take such a risk?

“I was not comfortable with the hospital in Kulim and wanted to deliver my baby where I had given birth to all my other babies.

Happy family: Safiyah (centre) posing with her grandchildren for this photo taken last October. With them are (from left, standing) Azleen’s husband Ben Yamen Marzahan, Azleen, Azleena and her husband Mohd Razi.

“I only wanted my gynaecologist Dr Ong Sing Kwee,” said Azleena, who had given birth to her seven children under Dr Ong.

Azleena had her first and second child at the hospital in Seremban and after moving to Kulim in 1999, she still returned to have her third, fourth and fifth child in the same hospital.

Though the early arrival of her sixth baby prompted her to check into the hospital in Kulim, she “ran away” to give birth at NSCMH, formerly known as the N.S. Chinese Maternity Hospital.

Her gynaecologist at NSCMH ticked her off for taking the risk and her mother Safiyah Jantan cried throughout her daughter’s drive south when told of her insistence to give birth in Seremban.

Azleena, the youngest among three siblings and the first to get married, was the first in the family to deliver at NSCMH.

Her twin sister Azleen followed suit to give birth to her eldest child a few months later in the same hospital in 1996.

Subsequently, all her other four children were also born in NSCMH.

Azleena’s eldest sister Aiza, too, delivered her three children there.

As a result, all 15 of Safiyah’s grandchildren were born in NSCMH.

What prompted them to keep going back to the hospital were the reputable gynaecologists and reasonable charges of the hospital, said the three mothers.

“The hospital is good and the staff are friendly, too,” both the sisters said.

They are among many who will be joining the campaign to raise RM20mil to redevelop the hospital.

Datuk Dr Nellie S.L. Tan, president of the management committee that took over the hospital in November last year, has embarked on a fund-raising campaign.

All efforts are being made to save the maternity hospital, one of the few remaining in the country with a strong charity element in the outpatient clinic, midwives and hospitalisation package for the poor.

The MCA, working with the management committee, is organising an 80-table dinner at Allson Klana Resort to raise funds for the maternity hospital on Oct 6.

“This is a good hospital with reasonable charges.

“It serves the people well and we will help to raise as much money as we can,” said Deputy Education Minister Datuk Hon Choon Kim who was also born at the hospital.

NSCMH has appealed to Malaysians to donate RM10 per person while those born in the hospital are urged to donate RM100.

All donations are tax exempted.

Aiza, who lives in Seremban, has contributed RM300.

For enquiries, contact the hospital at 06-7622 104, 06-7622 511, or e-mail to nscmh@tm.net.my.

From maternity hospital to medical centre

SET up 75 years ago as a maternity hospital using public funds, the N.S. Chinese Maternity Hospital is now known as the NSCMH medical centre.

It used to be the only private hospital in Seremban set up as a community hospital offering a diverse and integrated range of affordable quality healthcare services and enjoyed a 100% bed occupancy.

From a humble beginning as a maternity centre, it became a medical centre in May 1980, offering specialist services in the field of anaesthesiology, ENT, ophthalmology, orthopaedic, paediatric, radiology, gastroenterology, physio-therapy and surgical disciplines to the public.

With 50 beds in 1980, it expanded to 75 beds in 1986.

Dr Tan: ‘I get strong support from Klang Valley in terms of donations although the hospital is based in Seremban’

Continual refurbishment of the wards was carried to provide a more conducive environment in the hospital.

The new committee of management took over the hospital on Nov 16 last year to continue the work of pioneer and local community leaders of 75 years ago; to continue the charitable clinic for the less fortunate; and to save the last of the Chinese Maternity Hospitals in Malaysia.

Four other Chinese maternity hospitals in Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Ipoh and Klang have been taken over by other groups, renamed or simply closed down.

Among the measures taken to help the poor include a waiver of fees at its outpatient clinic for physically and mentally retarded patients, a fee of only RM10 for consultation with a family physician plus five days’ supply of basic medication at its outpatient clinic, and a fee of RM600 for midwife delivery plus hospitalisation package.

Rallying to save ailing medical centre

newsdesk@thestar.com.my

“I CAN’T do this alone.”

Datuk Dr Nellie S. L. Tan needs to rouse as much support as she can in her efforts to save the ailing NSCMH Medical Centre, formerly known as N.S. Chinese Maternity Hospital which was set up some 75 years ago.

Dr Tan, president of the management committee that took over the hospital in November 2006, has embarked on a fund raising campaign to raise RM20mil to re-develop the hospital.

Plans in the pipeline are: RM15mil for a new building by the end of the year and RM5mil to buy medical equipment.

By October, the hospital would operate a neck, spine and knee rehabilitation centre after signing up with BacktoHealth (M) Sdn Bhd, the master franchisee of DBC in Finland. The hospital plans to attract more resident doctors to operate the specialist clinic as well.

Up until the end of July, a total of RM2.5mil has been raised, with Lee Foundation contributing RM500,000, an anonymous contributor another RM500,000 and Salee Sdn Bhd RM80,000. There were also “walk in” donors, one of whom gave RM5,000 and a chicken rice hawker who donated RM1,700, as well as donations from newlyweds and also from funeral collections (pak kum).

“I get strong support from Klang Valley in terms of donation although the hospital is based in Seremban,” said Dr Tan.

The MCA is helping out too by organising an 80-table dinner at Allson Klana Resort to raise funds for the hospital on Oct 6.

“We need more people to help raise funds for NSCMH,” said Deputy Education Minister Datuk Hon Choon Kim, who is also MCA national organising secretary and the party’s Seremban division chief. Hon, 59, was born in the hospital.

NSCMH, one of the few remaining in the country with a strong charitable element, used to have a 100% bed occupancy but has been declining as it faces stiff competition from two new private hospitals in Seremban.

Prior to the takeover, bed occupancy in the hospital dropped to 20%, doctors were leaving in droves, and it was saddled with almost RM6mil accumulated deficit as of last November.

Two parties have since made proposals to take over the hospital but the management committee declined. Instead, proceeded to take steps to re-develop it to maintain the charity profile of this non-profit hospital, a tax exempt organisation.

NSCMH has appealed to Malaysians to donate RM10 per person in a bid save the hospital. Those born in the hospital are urged to donate RM100.

Since news of saving the hospital spread, bed occupancy rate has also picked up.

“Our accident and emergency department is getting busy, especially at night,” said Dr Tan.

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