Most Miri residents get their general health service through Polyclinics. The longest serving and the largest Polyclinic is the one situated close to the city centre about ten to fifteen minutes walk from the Miri District office. It is flanked by a Shell petrol station, and in the vicinity of the Handicraft Center, a shopping mall, and a primary school, along Merbau Road leading into the city.
The clinic provides general health consultation services (including dental) and special care services. The latter is mainly the diabetic patients or patients with high blood sugar. It also provides checks and testing of diseases like tuberculosis. A lab is also available to perform blood and other tests. In addition, there is a first-aid unit and a unit for Medical Check Up, ECG and Visual Acuity (MCU/ECG/VA). There is also a pharmacy that dispenses medicine prescription. Unfortunately, there is no X-ray service and other high tech sophisticated services. The patient had to have his or her X-ray done in a commercial lab or should the doctor think fit, to refer the patient's case to the Miri General Hospital.
Special mention is made of the special services. If a patient is found to have diabetic condition including high level of blood sugar, he or she is then registered as a special patient. A medical personnel, usually an experienced nurse will give him or her the verbal advice on food and diet. His or her weight, blood pressure, height and eye sight will be recorded and put on a monitoring schedule whereby a regular appointment is made to visit the clinic at appointed intervals.
For each registration of a visit to the doctor, a patient is charged one Ringgit. If said patient is 60 years and above, then the charge is waived. Prescription medicine is provided without charge.
The polyclinic handles at least one thousand patients per day and has been facing overcrowding and parking problems. The number shall definitely be higher if the patients taking the blood test is to be accounted. To cater for the large number of patients, a building next door about 20 meters away is annexed as an extension of consultation and blood test service.
Article and photos contributed by: Albert