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LETTER | Health minister: Why no attention to the plight of people without citizenship?

LETTER | I am sad to observe that the Ministry of Health paid no attention to the plight of the people with no citizenship, especially children who are between the ages of 12- 18.

This is especially pitiful when the child - in this case, my niece - is only 14 years old, suffering from Systemic Lupus Erythema (SLE), but she cannot see a doctor.

For over one year, my niece has not been able to consult her doctor at Selayang Hospital. Although her last appointment was in October, for her safety, we have postponed the appointment to November.

This is because people with SLE have low immunity and the risks are very high unless they are vaccinated against Covid-19.

Her father has registered her with MySejahtera, but there was no response even to enquiries that we sent to MySejahtera. Another few friends have also sent enquiries to MySejahtera and there is not even a single response except an auto-message that is sent out.

The girl's father has also taken half a day off from his work in order to send the daughter for vaccination at the walk-in vaccination centre - only to be told that they do not accept children below 18.

While we can understand that they do not have vaccines for children below 18, this is a different case since she has SLE and needs the coronavirus vaccination in order to be able to consult the doctors on her SLE matter.

We have a letter from the doctors to certify that she is fit to get her Covid-19 jab.

I have personally contacted a few private clinics in a list provided by a friend who pointed out that the list bears the letterhead of the Ministry of Health.

DAP's MP for Kulai Teo Nie Ching

Despite the MP for Kulai Teo Nie Ching urging the ministry to provide vaccination to people who are stateless, when we make enquiries with the MOH, we are just put to run around.

I find it hard to believe that under circumstances like what we are facing, hospitals do not provide vaccination for Covid-19; otherwise, for the sake of the safety of my niece and the people whom she comes in contact with, she could have been vaccinated so that normal consultation with the specialists can continue on.

When I asked a friend to check with the director-general of Health himself, I found it hard to believe why the MOH would not consider the case of an autoimmune patient as a priority!

How many cases are there of such individuals? Why can't some arrangements be made for them to be vaccinated, since they have the letter from the hospital?

It makes us wonder whether this is again discrimination against the stateless people in this country. She is only a child, who is innocent and it is time for the government to understand the plight of the stateless people.

How long can the government continue to discriminate the stateless people?

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

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