Just not what the doctor ordered! The health ministry now holds the unenviable position of being the numero uno government agency deluged with the most number of crank calls over the past 15 months. Health Deputy Minister Datuk Rosnah Abdul Rashid Shirlin is not amused with such ‘distinction’.
Pranksters placed the ministry in their crosshairs over their ‘usual targets’ like the police, fire and rescue department and the civil defence department, to direct the nuisance calls. This is believed to be the first time the ministry has received the most number of crank calls, for a government agency.
Between January last year and April, Telekom Malaysia statistics showed 22.92 mil emergency calls received by the various government agencies.
Of the number, 64.75 per cent were crank calls, most of which were directed at the ministry, said Rosnah. “We are seriously concerned over this figure (pertaining to the crank calls).
Anyone found guilty of misusing the emergency line is liable to face a RM50,000fine or a year’s imprisonment, or both.
“The public appears to be unaware that crank calls are against the law underSection 233 of the Communication and Multimedia Act 1998,” she said in her speech at the Emergency Awareness Day in the Sungai Buloh Hospital today.
The one-day exhibition themed, ‘Emergency Awareness, Put Life First’, is aimed at educating the public on the scope of services offered by emergency and trauma units of hospitals.
Apart from information on the department, booths on various health issues such as hypertension and diabetes was on display.
Hospital director Dr Khalid Ibrahim and its head of national emergency services, Dr Sabariah Faizah Jamaluddin, were also present.
On the integrated health care programme, ‘1 Care’, involving the government and private sector, Rosnah said it would be carried out by 2020.
‘1 Care’, based on the United Kingdom health care model, is one of the ways the government plans to curb the rising cost of healthcare for those unable to afford it.